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W« hMfkj approta ci thb Tnmdatloii oi Um tfltriit ^ 
tf^Tjf, tnd oordiallj reoommend it to the li'aithM. , 

▲BCHBif HOP OF wwnaxmE 

Q¥fen ui Wutmimter on ike Featt of Saint 
AlphmiUide Liguorh A.D. 1852. 

We beartilj oommend this Translation of the Olorie$ tf 
Mwry to all the disciples of her Divine Son. 

lilHEKBT £. 

DEC 101914 322477 

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Ts obedience to the decrees of Xhhaxi tbe Eighth, I' 
declare that I have no intention of attributing any 
other than a ^orely boman aotfaority to tbe miraclu^ 
revelations, fayonrs, and particular cases recorded in 
this book 'f and the same as regards tbe titles of SUdnts 
and Blessed, applied to servants of God not yet canon- 
ized, ez^pt^in tiiose cases which have been confi^^ed 
by the Holy 'Roman Catholic Church and the Apostoli- 
cal See, of which I declare myself to be an obedient 
Bon 'f and therefore I submit myself, and all that I hav« 
written in Uus book, te her judgi&ent 


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Ths present edition of the Olorieg of Mairy htm been rtrieed 
and corrected in so £Eur as was necessary. 

The Translator of the first edition bestowed much pains 
and labor in VMifying the numerous quotations which occur 
in the work; he carefullj compai*ed and corrected all the 
quotations with the origintus from which they are taken. In 
the few instaiit-es in which he was unable to procure the 
anthors or to find the quotations, he put this sign t ; not to 
denote that they do not exist, but sunplj to indicate that he 

did not pledge himself to them. 
In l£iC2 the Kev. Fat 

xu i.ijyj>i luo x»«v. iTather Dujardin, C.SS.R., published a 
French Translation of the Olories of Mary, In his preface 
ne states that he has carefullj verified all the quotations, and 
that he vouches for their exactitude. 

We have therefore gladly availed ourselves of that portion 
of bis work, and have collated all the quotations ana refer- 
ences given in the first English edition with those given bj 
Father Dujardin. 

Some of the Indulgences gran'.ed to certain devotions have 
been corrected on authority of the BaceoUa, 

It may be remaiiced here that in older editions of the 
works of St. Anselm, tha treatise <le ExceUentia Firginit, wo 
often Quoted hj St. Alphonsus, is attributed to him, bat iu 
later editions it is given as the work of another author. 

AugntklT, 16 

lAtpold J. Di^Mdiii, d< la Congregation da Tm-fliliit Psdewptsar OMrtl 
iiJUiiH(i,«oiMSvil.Tiii. Ommutt, TwuaaL 

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Tbb AuthobTs Psatbb to Jsscs axd Muir • • 1 


iNTRODUCnON • • • 5 

PBATMBTOTHBBlJB8fiBDyiBaiM,---TooUalBftgOOddMlk 10 


Chap. L HaO, Holp Qmeem, MoOsr </ Jftfrqr / 

L How great should be our oonfidenoe !n Marj, wbob 

the Qaeen of Meroj U 

n. How iDHch otur confidence hi Mary should be hiorMMd 

from the &ct of her bdng our Mother • • .21 
IIL On the greatness of the love which this Mother bean m 90 
IV. Mary b the Mother of penitent Sinners • • • 44 

Chap. H. Our Life, am SweetMO. 
L Mary is ear Life, because she obtains OS the Paraon of 
oar Sins . . •••••• S4 

n. Mary is also onr JMd, because she obtains as Peri»> 

yeranoe . • • ••48 

IIL Mary renders Death sweet to her Clienls , • 71 

Chap. m. Our JSopi. 

L Mary b the Hope of all 81 

n. Mary b the Hope of filiniMni • • « • 91 

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Ohap. IV T»ike$dowectTf,poorUmitked^UdreHofJBhm. 

I. On the promptitode of Marj in aaristing those who in- 

Tokeher • 106 

n. Of the greatneM of the power of Ifaiy to defend thofo 
who invoke her when tempted bj Uie doTfl • • 116 

Crav, T. To tke$ do we oigh, mourning amd weeping, in ikk 
vaUeg of team, 

I. Of the neoeaeitgr of Xbie Interoeedon of Kaiy for oor 

SalTation 1S7 

n. The nive voki^ oontinii«d 140 

Chap. VL 0, graeknu Advocate t 

L Kai7 ie an Adyocate who is able to aare all . 168 

IL Mary is ao tender an Adyooate, that she does not refine 

to defend the cause even of the moet miserable • 165 
UL Marj is the Peaoe-maker between Knners and God • 174 

Chap. VIL Tmm, then, thine eyee of mercg towarde ue. 
llaiy is all ejea to pitj and iacooar OS in onr neoeantiee . 185 

Chap. Vni. And ofier ikie our exile ehow unto u» ike UeMMi 
fruit of thy wcmb, Jeeui, 

1, Maiy deliTera her Clients from Hell • . . 195 

n. Mary sneeoani her Clients in Paigatoc7 • • • ^^ 

JJL Haiy leads her 8ervanU to Heayen • • • .811 

Cbap. DL element, Ophuef 
Of the greatness of the CleBCienoj and ConypaaiionolMaiy 90 

Chap. X. tweet Virgin Margt 
€f thesweetnesa of the name of Marj dnrk^ U6i and at dtatb M 

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ittYotn nuTXBS addbused bt yabious saixtb to 
Diynni MOTHUi 

Fn^^cf Saint Ephnm 947 

** 8dnt Bernard 848 

^ SaintGermanna 9M 

^ BleaaedRajmondJoarddn . • • • 9M 

^ SahitHethodioa. ' S51 

^ Saint John Damaaofln S51 

"" Mat Andraw of Canfia 8S8 

^ Saint Ddephonaoa ..•••• 2^3 

"" SaintAthanaaraa . . 1MS3 

"^ Saivt AnMOm 353 

"^ Saint Peter Damiaa S54 

• William of Paria 966 


"ffam Rooming it waa that eaoh of the Three Di/ine Peifooa 
diQnki oreaerro Mmj from Original Sin • • • 914 

DlSOOUBOl IL CfHU Birik ^ Mo/ry. 

Ifarj waa bom a Saint, and a great Saint; for the grace wilk 
which God enriched her ftom the beginning waa great> and 
the fidelitj widi whieh abe immediately oorre^wnded with 
kwaagreat 9M 

IHeooumainL <y tiU PfrnmiviiU^ ^Mwtf. 

na OAting tbM Mai7 made of htrnlf to God 
wWtait defagr, a»d firttn withom 

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DlSCOURSB ly. Of the Annwieiaiion ofMo/ry. 

At the Incarnation of th« Eternal Word, Mavy oonld not hay« 
hiimbled herself more that she did humble herself; Qod, 
on the otb«r hand^oonld not have ezaltod her more than 
Hi did tikalt her • • 310 

DiscoubsbY. CftheFiiiiaiionofM^rp. 

Mary ia the Treasurer <^ all Divine Graces; therelbre, wh<h 
ever desires Qraoes must have recourse to Marj ; and he 
who has recourse to Marj maj be certain of obtahiing 
the Qraoes he deures ... , ' . • . 839 

DiscoubsbYL QfthePurifieaUonofM^rp. 

The great Sacrifice which Maiy made on thisday to Qod, in 
Offering Him the Life of her Son 364 

DiSCOXTRSB yn. Cftke AiiumpiUm qf Marjf, 

On this da J the Church celebrates, in honour c^Marj, two 
solemn festivals ; the first is that of her happj passage 
firom this world ; the second, that of her glorious Assump- 
tion into Heaven 368 

PiscoUBSB ym. 8ec<mdDUe(>wneontheAt9umpiion<tfMmf, 

1st How glorious was the triumph of Marj when she am- 
oended to Heaven. 2d. How exalted was tho throne to 
whioh she was elevated in Heaven. • • • • 881 

DxBOOUBSnlX. Cfl^JMpunqfMmj. 

Mmrj was the Qumu of Martjrs, for her martjrdoM mm 
f sod 8Mrt« tbn Hwt of all tho Har^fti , 

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tmnJumovB oh each of thb bkves doloum ow mamw 



FiBST DOLOUB. Of Saint Simeon's Prophe^ . • .417 
Bbcond ** Of the F%ht of Jesus into Egypt . • 4SS 
Thibd ' Of the Lobs of Jesus in the Tempi* • .428 

FOITBTH " On the Meeting of Mary with JesMwliai 

He was going to Death • • • 434 
Fnrra '' Of the Death of Jesns • . . .440 
Sixth '' The Piercmg of the Side <^ Jesns, «iid 

His descent from the Cross • • .446 
Sbybnth '* The Bjirial of Jesns ... * 453 



L Of the Humilitj of Maiy 460 

IL Of Maays Charitj towards Qod . • • .467 
m. Of Mary's Charity towards her Neighbour • . 473 
IV. Of Mary's Faith 476 

y. Of Maay s Hope 479 

VL Of Mary's Chastity 483 

Vn. Of Maiys Poverty. 486 

Vni. Of Maiys Obedienoe 489 

IX. Of Mary's Patienoe 498 

X. Of Mai/s Prayer 494 


ItBST Devotion. Of the Hafl Mary • • • .606 

Second *' Of Novenas 603 

Thibd ^ Of the Kosaiy and OiDot of our 

Blessed Lady 606 

FOUBTH ** Of Fasting 609 

Fifth ^ Of Visiting the Images ol Mary • • 610 
« Qfth«Soapalar . . • 619 

' / ■• ■ - 

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ill cavxBzrcs. 


Sbvkni ' H Dbyohon. Of joming ConfratemitieB of our 

Blessed Ladj . • . • 614 

ESQin ^ Of Alms given in Mary's honour • 518 

NmTH ^ Of haying freqnent reoourae to 

Maiy 519 

ItaxH '' In this tenth and last Devotion I 
unite several devotions which 
maj he practised in honor of 
MiU7 520 



Yameovb additional Examples apfebtadono to ths 

MOST Blessed Virgin Mart . . • . . 526 
Ekfly TO AN Anonymous Writer^ who has censured 
what the Author of this Work has said, in the First 
Section of the Fifth Chapter, on the Salve Begina . 563 
4 SHORT Beplt to the Extravagant Beform attempted hj 
the Ahh6 Bolli ; a Beform which is in opposition to the 
Devotion and Love we owe to the Divine Mother . . 572 
Bermon for the Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed 

Vbgin Maiy 580 

Sermon on the Dolours of Maiy 590 

Sermon for the Feast of Sahit Joseph . • • .599 

KoToina of Meditations 611 

Meditations for the Seven prindpal Feasts of Maiy • . 627 
Meditation for the Feast of Saint Joseph • • • • 639 
Prayers to the Divine Mother for every day in the Week . 641 
Little Bosary of the Seven Dolours of Ma^ . . .649 
litMe Bosary of Mary Immaculate • ^ • • 654 

Dedications and Prayers 655 

AoolAmatioQs in praise of Maiy. • • • , • 680 

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liT mo6t loving Redeemer and Lord Jesus Cbrifi, I, 
tby miserable servant, well knowing what pleasure he 
gives Thee who endeavours to exalt thy most holy 
STother, whom Thou lovest so much } knowing, too, 
how much Thon desirest to see her loved and honoured 
by all, have determined to publish this work of mine, 
which treats of her glories. I know not, however, to 
whom I could better recommend it than to Thee, who 
hast her glory so much at heart. To The^, therefore, 
do I dedicate and commend it. Accept this little hom- 
age of the love I bear Thee and thy beloved Mother 
Do Thou protect it, by showering down on all who read 
it the light of confidence and flames of love towards this 
Immacalate Yir^n, in whom Thou hast placed thm 
hope and whom Thou hast made the refuge of all the 
redeemed. And as a reward for my poor labour, 
grant me, I beseech Thee, that love towards Maiy, 
which, by the means of this book, I desire to see en« 
kindled in aU who read it. 

And now I turn to thee, my most sweet Lndy 
and Mother Mary. Thou weU knowest that, after 
Jesus, I have placed my entire hope of salvation in 
thee : for I acknowledge that .everything good — ^mj 
conversion, mv call to renounce the world, and all the 
other graces that I have received from God — all were 
given me through thy means. Thou knowest that in 
order to see thee oved by all as thou deservest, and 

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aIso aa some mark of gratitade for the many benefiii 
tbou hast conferred upon me, I have always endeavoured 
in my sermons, in public and in private, to insinuate 
mto all thy sweet and salutary devotion. I hope to 
continue doing so until my last breath, but m;^ advanced 
years and feeble health admonish me that I am neai 
the end of my pilgrimage and my entry into eternity; 
and therefore I wish, before dying, to leave this book 
to the world, in order that in my place it may continue 
to preach thee, and encourage others to announce thy 
glories, and the tender compassion thou showest to thy 
clients. I trust, my most beloved Queen, that this 
little gift, which is one of love, though far beneath thy 
merits, will yet be acceptable to thy most gracious heart. 
Extend, then, that most sweet hand with which thou 
hast drawn me from the world and delivered me from 
hell, and accept it and protect it as thine own. But at 
the same time thou must know that I expect a reward 
for my little offering ; and that is, that from this day 
forward I may love thee more than ever, and that every- 
one into whose hands this work may fall may at once 
be inflamed with love of thee ; and that his desire of 
loving thee, and of seeing thee loved by others, may be 
increased, so that he may labour with all affection to 
preach and promote, as far as he can, thy praises, and 
confidence in thy most powerful intercession. Amen* 

Tbj most loving though vile servant, 


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In order that my present work may not be c(mdemn«dl 
by the oyer-cridcfid, I tbink it well to explain certam 
propositions that will be fonnd in it^ and wbicb may 
seem bazardons, or perhaps obscure. I have noticed 
some, and should others attract your attention, charit- 
able reader, I beg that yon will understand them accord- 
ing to the rules of sound theology and the doctrine of 
the boly Boman Catholic Ghnrch, of which I declare 
myself a most obedient son. In the Introduction, at 
page 7, referring to the sixth chapter of this work, 1 
say that it is the will of God that all graces should 
come to us by the hands of Mary. Now, this is indeed 
a most consoling truth for souls tenderly devoted to 
our most Blessed Lady, and for poor sinners who wish 
to repent. Nor should this opinion be looked upon as 
contrary to sound doctrine, since the father of theology, 
St. Augustine,^ in common with most writers, says, that 
Mary cooperated by her charity in the spiritual birth of 
all members of the Church. A celebrated writer, and 
one who cannot be accused of exaggeration or of mis- 
guided devotion, says,* ' that it was, properly speaking, 
on Mount Calvary that Jesus formed His Church:' and 
then it is evident that the Blessed Virgin co5perated in 
a most excellent and especial manner in the accomplish- 
ment of this work. And in the same way it can be said, 
that though she brought forth the Head of the Church, 
Jesus Christ, without pain, she did not bring forth the 
body of this Head without very great suffering ; and so 
It was on Mount Calvary that Mary began, in an espe- 
cial manner, to be the Mother of the whole Church. 
And now, to say all in a few words : God, to glorify 
the Mother of the Bedeemer, has so determined and 

> Mater qoldem tplrlta, non oanitisnottri, quod est ipse StUTator. 9X quo 
•agii iUft ipiritaliter nata est; quia omnes, qui in eomtJiediderint, in qoibos 
ft ipsa mt, reote filii nxmsi appellantor ; sed plane mater memlnoram e^jos 
(qiiod DOS somas), quia oooperata est obaritate, at fideles in eoolesia r 

ffSBtor, qoK Ulias oapi^ membra sunt- 'Lib. de Sancta VirffmHate^ cap. tI. 
* Ifons. Nieole, Istnudenl^Ioffiohe e morali sopra I'Orasioae Doncenioaltb 
' ' ' I Asgelioa, &o. tsinmone 3» «. 8. 

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disposed; that of her great charity she should intercede 
in behalf of all those for whom His Divine Son paid 
and offered the superabundant price of His predooi 
blood; in which alone ^' ia our saxvation; life, and resur- 
rection.^ On this doctrine; and on all that is in accord- 
ance with it; I ground my propositions' — ^propositions 
which the Saints have not feared to assert in their ten- 
der colloquies with Mary and fervent discourses in her 
honour. Hence St. Sophronius sayS; that ^the plenitude 
of all grace which/is in Christ came into Mary, though 
in a different way f* meaning that the plenitude of grace 
was in Christ; as the Head from which it flows, as from 
ltd source ; and in Mary, as in the neck through whiok 
it flows. This opinion is clearly confirmed and taugA 
by the angelical Doctor, St. Thomas, who says: 'Of 
the three ways in which the Blessed Virgin is full of 
gracO; the third is that she is so for its transfusion into 
all men ; and then he adds : * This plenitude is great 
in any Saint when there is as much grace as would 
suffice for the salvation of many; but it is in its highest 
degree when there is as much as would suffice for the 
salvation of the world ; and it was in this degree 4n 
Christ and in the Blessed Virgin : for in all dangers 
thou canst obtain salvation of this glorious Virgin ; 
and therefore it is said in the sacred Canticles that *^ a 
thousand bucklerS;'' that is to say, means of protec- 
tion against dangers; '^ hang upon it." Also, in every 
work of virtue thou canst have her for thy help^; for 
she sayS; in the words of EcclesiasteS; '' In me is all 
hope of life and virtue.''* 

* In Ohapten tL viL vfiL ix. 

« In Uariam yero totioinatte. mm in Ohrlito ett pl«iii«iido Ttni^ f «Mi 
•oam aUter.— Int op. S. Hieron. Senm, dt Astymp, B, Ta apw OoatooM^ 
rhMl, Meta. et Cord, L 10, d. 6. c. L 

*■ Dloitor antem beata Viigo pI«iiA gratia, onantam ad tria . . . TertK 
qnantom ad refiuionein in omnei hooraMt. Majrnam enim ett in qnolibel 
■anoto, qoando habet tantom de natia, quod Mimoit ad ■olatem moltorani t 
ted qouando haberet tantom, quod saffioeret ad lalotem omnium homiaam da 
mundo, boo ewet mazimum, et boo est Cbrirto et in Beata Virgine. "Sam 
in omni perieulo potet Mlatem obtinere ab ipsa Virgine g l(»iosa. Undo Oaa- 
tteomm It. ** mille olypei," id est temedia oontra ^rioiua, ** pendent ex ea.** 
Item, in omni opere virtatis potes earn babeve in adjatoriam, et ideo diiH 
iBsa Eoclesiastioi ndr. " In me omnei QMSTitM etTirtotis.*— Jhy tf» AaML 

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Mt beloyed reader and brother in Maiy. Since tht 
devotion that led me to write, and moves yon to read, 
this book, makes ns happy children of the same good 
Mother, should yon hear it remarked that I might have 
spared myself the labonr, as there are akeady so many 
celebrated and learned works on the same subject, I be^ 
that you will reply, in the words of the Abbot Francone, 
that ' the praise of Maiy is an inexhaustible fount, the 
more it is enlarged the fuller it gets, and the more you 
fill it so much the more is it enl^ged.'^ In short, this 
Blessed Yirdn is so great and sublime, that the more 
she is praised the more there remains to praise ; so much 
so, says an ancient writer, ' that if all the tongues of 
men were put together, and even if each of their mem- 
bers was changed into a tongue, they would not suffice 
to praise her as much as she deserves.'* 

I have seen innumerable works, of all sizes, which 
treat of the Glories of Maiy ; but finding that they were 
either rare, voluminous, or did not answer the object I 
had in view, I endeavoured to collect, fix>m as many 
authors as I could lay my hands on, the choicest pass- 
ages, ^stracted from Fathers and Theologians, and 
those which seemed to me to be the most to the^ point, 
and have put them together in this book, in order that 
the devout may with little trouble and expense be ablt 
to infiame themselves with the love of Mary, and more 

> Lana Ifarte torn Mt indeficiens, qui qmmto longini extenditar, teate 
•mplini bdpl«tor; et quaoto ampliw impletor, tanto lattoA dSHmtaitar^^Ik 
€hraL lib. tH, 

* EtiMiMi omoiain nostnun membra rerterentar in Unfqaii «Mi 
w< e M il BnllB >. ^lnt Cp, St. Avff. in Ap|». torn v 

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particularly to formsh priests with matter for their set* 
mons, wherewith to excite others to devotion towards 
this Divine Mother. 

Worldly lovers often speak of and praise those 
whom they love, in order that the object of their affec- 
tions may be praised and extolled by others. There are 
some who pretend to be lovers of Mary, and yet seldom 
either speak of or endeavour to excite others to love 
her : their love cannot be great. It is not thus that 
true lovers of this amiable Lady act ; they desire to 
praise her on all occasions, and to see her loved by the 
whole world, and never lose an opportunity, either in 
public or private, of enkindling in the hearts of others 
those blessed flames of love with which they themselves 
bum towards their beloved Que^n. 

That everyone may be persuaded how important it 
is, both for his own good and that of others, to promote 
devotion towards Mary, it is useful to know what Theo- 
logians say on the subject. St. Bonaventure says, that 
those who make a point of announcing to others the 
glories of Mary are certain of heaven j and this opinion 
is confirmed by Richard of St. Lawrence; who declares, 
' that to honour this Queen of Angels is to gain eternal 
life f^ and he adds, ^ that this most gracious Lady will 
honour in the next world those who honour her in 
this.'* And who is ignorant of the promise made by 
Mary herself, in the words of Ecelesiastes, to those who 
endeavour to make her known and loved here below, 
'^ they that explain me shall have life everlasting j'* for 
this passage is applied to her by the Church, in thf 
office of the Immaculate Conception. ' Rejoice, then, 
exclaims St. Bonaventure ^who did so much to makf 
the glories of Mary known), ^ rejoice, my soul, and be 
glad in her ^ for many good things are prepared for 
those who praise her -/ and he says that the whole of 

* Honorare dquidem Uariam, thesaoriiare est nbi Titaoi irteniam.— Ai 
CmhI. F.LS. 
I OkuUksabit in flitmo lervientei tibi honorifloaatei m in pwnn tL— Jk 
Qui tlaolduit me t itam jBtemam bnbebant— AcL xzir. Si 

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the sacred Soriptures speak in praise of Mary:* let of 
therefore always with our hearts and tongues honour 
this Divine Mother, in order that we may be conducted 
by her into the kingdom of the blessed. 

We learn from the revelations of St. Bridget, that 
the blessed Bishop Emingo was in the habit of always 
beginning his sermons with the praises of Mary. One 
day the Blessed Virgin herself appeared to the Saint, 
and desired her to teU him, that in consequence of his 
pious practice, ' she would be his mother, that he would 
die a holy death, and that she would herself present 
his soul to God f^ he died like a Saint in the act of 
praybg, and in the most heavenly peace. Mary also 
appeared to a Dominican friar, who always concluded 
his sermons by speaking of her ; when on his deathbed 
the Blessed Virgin defended him from the devils, oon- 
sbled him, and then she herself carried off his happy 
soul.' The devortt Thomas k Kempis represents us 
Mary recommending a soul who had honoured her to 
her Son, and saying, ^My most loving Son, have mercy 
on the soul of lliis servant of Thine, who loved and 
extolled me.'' 

Next, as to the advantage of this devotion for all, 
St. Anselm says, that as the most sacred womb of Mary 
was the means of salvation for sinners, the hearing of 
her praises must necessarily convert them, and thus also 
be a means of their salvation ; ^ how can it be otherwise 
than that the salvation of sinners should come from the 
remembrance of her praises, whose womb was made the 
way through which the Saviour came to save sinners f *• 

And if the opinion is true, and I consider it as in- 
dubitably so (as I shall show in the sixth chapter), that 

* Kzuita, anlma mea, et Intare in ilia, quia mnlta bona rant landatc^bna 
pneparata. In Pt. xliiL B, F. Omne* aoriptonB loqmmtar da ea. iSEerm. 13 in 

' RereL lib. iH. cap. xiU. • Ap. P Aoriem, Aff. loamb. p. 1, o. 13. 

* Fili mi amantiiaUne, miserere anim« fiunuli toi amatoria et laadatoria 
mB\.— Part 3, Serm. % ad Nov. 

^^ Qaomodo fieri potest, at ex memoria laudom ejui laliis non proTMfal 
pecoatomm, oi^iu atems Ihctus est via ad sftnaodnn peoestoret TesieiH 
6alT«t«NrlY— A Am. d§ Mt^ F. oap. I. 

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8 nnmoDTTcrxov* 

all graces are dispensed by Maij; and tliat all who ar« 
saved are saved only by the means of this Divine Mother . 
it is a necessary consequence that the salvation of all 
depends upon preaching Mary, and exciting all to con* 
fidence in her intercession. It is well known that it 
was thus that St. Bemardine of Sienna sanctified Italy, 
and that St. Dominic converted so many provinces. St. 
Louis Bertrand never omitted in his sermons to exhort 
all to love Mary ; and how many others have done the 

I find that F.ather Paul Segneri the younger, who was 
% very celebrated missioner, in eveiy mission preached 
a sermon on devotion to Mary, and always called it his 
beloved sermon. And in our own missions, in which 
it is an inviolable rule to do the same, we can attest, 
with all truth, that in most cases no sermon is more 
profitable, or produces so much compunction in the 
hearts of the people^ as the one on the mercy of Mary, 
I say, on her mercy ; for, in the words of St. Bernard 
'we praise her virginity, we admire her humility j bu 
because we are poor sinners, mercy attracts us more and 
tastes sweeter ; we embrace mercy more lovingly ; we 
remember it oftener, and invoke it more earnestly ; ^ 
and for this reason I here leave other authors to describe 
the other prerogatives of Mary, and confine myself for 
the most part to that of her mercy and powerM inter- 
cession ; having collected, as far as I was able, and with 
the labour of many years, all that the holy Fathers and 
the most celebrated writers have said on this subject ; 
and as I find that the mercy and power of the most 
Blessed Virgin are admirably portrayed in the prayer 
* Salve Begina,' the recital of which is made obligatory 
for the greater pai*t of the year on all the clergy, secular 
andregolar, I shall divide and explain this most devont 
prayer in separate chapters. In addition to this, I thought 

>* Landamns Tirginitetem, hnmilitatem minunnr; led miMrlf «i|ilt dal- 
•tna mlaerioordia ; miterkMrdiain amplectimar OMini^ reeoidapw mp^M 

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lircitoBtT^imoir. | 

ihat I should be giving pleasure to Mar/gdevontclieuti^ 
by adding discourses on the principal festivals and vir- 
tues of tnis Divine Mother^ and by placing at the end 
of the work the devotions and pions practices most used 
by her servants, and most approved of by the Chorch. 
Devout reader, should this work, as I trust it will; 
prove acceptable to you, I beg that you will recommend 
me to the Blessed Virgin, that sle may give me great 
confidence in her protection. Ask this grace for me : 
and I promise you, whoever you may be, that I will 
ask the same for you who do me this charity. 0, 
blessed are they who bind themselves with love and 
confidence to these two anchors of salvation, Jesus and 
Mary. Certainly they will not be lost Let us then 
both say, devout reader, with the pious Alphonsus 
Rodriguez, * Jesus and Mary, my most sweet loves, for 
you may I suffer, for you may I die; grant that I may 
be in all things yours and in nothing mine.'" Let us 
love Jesus and Mary, and become Saints; we can neitbei 
expect nor hope anything better. Farewell, then, until 
we meet in Paradise, at the feet of this most sweet 
Mother and of this most loving Son ; there to praise 
them; to love them face to face for all eternity. Amen^ 

^ Jmb •% IfMft, mnCt9§ in«i daloiitliDi, pro TobUpfttlar, p? i foMt MnWlf, 

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^0 XErTBOBtrcnoir. 

IPrsgtr to i\it §h$$ti Sfarjfat 


Mary^ sweet refage of miserable einners, when my 
•oul is on the point of leaving this world, 0, my most 
sweet Mother, by that sorrow which thou didst endnre 
when assisting at the death of thy Son on the cross, 
assist me with thy mercy. Drive the infernal enemy 
far from me, and do thou come and take my soul to 
thyself, and present it to the eternal Judge. My Queen, 
abandon me not. Thou, after Jesus, hast to be my 
comfort in that terrible moment. Entreat thy beloved 
Son, in His goodness, to grant me the grace to die 
clinging to thy feet, and to breathe forth my soul in 
His wounds, saying, 'Jesus and Mary, I give yon my 
heiit and my soul/ 

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SECTION I. How great shouM he our confidence m 
Mary, who is the Queen of Mercy. 

As the glorious Virgin Maiy has been raised to the 
dignity of Mother of the King of kings, it is not with- 
out reason that the Church honors her, and wishes 
her to be honored by all, with the glorious title of 
Queen. ^ If the Son is a king/ says an ancient writer, 
' the Mother who begot him is rightly and truly consi- 
dered a Queen and Sovereign/^ ^ No sooner had Mary/ 
says St Bemardine of Sienna, 'consented to be Mother 
of the Eternal Word, than she merited by this consent 

' Siquidem is ipse qa! ex Virgine naios est, rex eet,et ipse Dominos Dens. 
Mater, qon Spsam ^nait, Regina, Domina, et Deipara f ropria ao wn ptm- 
iioatur. Strm, ds Deip. int. op. S. Athan, 

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J 2 HAIL, HOLr QU^BK, M0XHS1& O^ IdmclT. 

to be made Qaeen of the world and of all creatorek/> 
' Since the flesh of Mary/ remarks the Abbot Arnold 
of Ghartres, ^ was not cQflerent from that of Jesus, how 
can the royal dignity of the Son be denied to the 
Mother ! ' ^ ' Hence we must consider the glory of the 
Son, not only as being common to, but as one with^ 
that of His Mother.'* 

And if Jesus is the King of the uniyerse, Mary is 
also its Queen. ' And as Queen/ says the Abbot Bn- 
pert, ' she possesses, by right, the whole kingdom of her 
Son.'* Hence St. Bernardino of Sienna concludes 
that ^ as many creatures as there are who serve God, so 
many they are who serve Mary: for as angels and 
men, and all things that are in heaven and on earth, 
are subject to the empire of God, so are they also under 
the dominion of Mary.'^ The Abbot Guarricus, ad- 
dressing himself to the Divine Mother on this subject, 
says : ' Continue, Mary, continue to dispose with con- 
fidence of the riches of thy Son ; act as Queen, Mother 
and Spouse of the King : for to thee belongs dominion 
and power over all creatures.'^ 

Mary, then, is a Queen : but, for our common cor 
solation, be it known that she is a Queen so sweet, 
clement, and so ready to help us in our miseries, that 
the holy Church wills that we should salute her in 
this prayer under the title of Queen of Mercy. ' The 
title of Queen,' remarks £. Albert the Great, ' differs 
from that of Empress, which implies severity and rigor* 
in signifying compassion and charity towards the poor.' 

* HflM antem Viigo in illo admirando oooMiita meruit domlnom et pri* 
matam totiut orbls.— Tom. ir. 90. 

* Neo a dominatione tot poteitate filii Mater potert etia lejixnota. una eil 
If arte et Christi caro.—i>e Xaud. Virg, 

' Filii gloriam cam Matre non tam oommanem Jndieo, qnam eamdem.— itti 
* Pr»cuoabitur de te quod •is....Regiiia oceloram totomjare possideiif 
Filii regnnm.— In Cant, I. 3. 

* Tot oreatum •erviunt glorioMi Vira^ni, qaot Mrviont Trinitati ; omnet 
namqae creatmsB, live anffeli dve homines, et omnia qoa sank in <mb1o et ia 
terra, qnsB omnia sont divino imperio sabjogata, glorioMB Virgin! sunt sab 
Jeot0.~Tom. iv. Senn. &, de. B. V. e. 6. 

' Peige, Maria, pe^e secora in bonis fllll tal, fldaoiaBter age tamqoav 
Beglna, Mater regis et sponsa; tibi debetar regnam et potestat.— <&fen». 9 

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ttAIl, HOLY Q0£EN^ liOTH^R OB* MJSEOlT. 13 

'The greatness of kings and queens/ says Seneca, * con- 
sists in relieving the wretched,^ and whereas tyrants, 
when they reign, have their own good in view, kings 
should have that of their subjects at heart. For tms 
reason it is that, at their consecration, kings have their 
heads anointed with oil, which is the symbol of mercy, 
to denote that, as kings, tbey should, above all thingSL 
Douriah in their hearts feelings of cou passion and 
benevolence towards their subjects. 

Ejn^s should, then, occupy themselves principally 
in works of mercy, but not so as to forget the just 
punishments that are to be inflicted on the guiltv. It 
IS, however, not thus with Mary, who, although a (Jueen, 
is not a queen of justice, intent on the pumshment of 
the wick ed," but a queen of mercy, intent only on com- 
miserating and pardoning sinners. And this is the 
reason for which the Church requires that we should 
expressly call her ' the Queen of Mercy.' The great 
Chancellor of Paris, John Gerson, in his Commentary 
on the words of David : " These two things have I 
heard, that power belonffeth to God, and mercy to thee, 
Lord,'^ says that the Kingdom of God, consisting m 
justice and mercy, was divided by our Lord : the kmg- 
dom of justice He reserved for Himself, and that of 
mercy He yielded to Mary, ordaining at the same time 
that all mercies that are dispensed to men should pass 
by the hands of Mary, and be disposed of by her at 
mil. These are Gerson's own words : ^ the kingdom 
of God consists in power and mercy ; reserving power 
(o Himself, He, in some way, yielded the empire of 
mercy to His Mother.'*" This is confirmed by St. 
Thomas, in his Preface to the Canonical Epistles^y- 
inff, Hhat when the Blessed Virgin conceived the Eter- 
niu Word in her womb, and brought Him forth, she 

* Hoo r^^ habent magrDifietun, prodeiM mlterli. 

* Dao luM aadiTi, quia potastas Dei eft, et tfbi, Domine, mlaeiloocdia.— 
Pm. Ixi. 12. 13. 

1* Begnnm Dei oonsiitit in potettate et miMrioordia: poteitata Donia* 
. VMoanente, oetait qaodammodo miierioordia part Ohzietl Matri mmamom 
ftfnanti.— P. 3, IV 4 «. Magnif. 

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obtained half the kingdom of God ; so that she is . 
Queen of Mercy, as Jesus Christ is King of Justice.'" 
The Eternal Father made Jesus Chrtst the Ejng of 
justice, and consequently universal Judge of the wond : 
and therefore the royal prophet siiigs : " Give to the 
"King Thy judgment, God, and to the King's Son 
Thy justice."" Here a learned interpreter takes up the 
sentence, and says: '0 Lord thou has given justice 
to Tky Son, because Thou hast given mercy to the 
King's Mother.' And, on this subject, St. Bonaventure, 
paraphrasing the words of David, thus interprets them . 
' Give to the King Thy judgment, God, and Tby 
mercy to the Queen His Mother.'^ Ernest, Archbishop 
of Prague, also remarks, ^ that the Eternal Father gave 
the office of judge and avenger to the Son, and that of 
showing mercy and relieving the necessitous to the 
Mother.'** This was foretold by the prophet David 
himself j for he says that God (so to speak) consecrated 
Mary Queen of mercy, anointing her with the oil of 
gladness (" God hath anointed thee with the oil of 
gladness").** In order that we miserable children of 
Adam might rejoice, remembering that in heaven we 
have this great Queen, overflowing with the unction of 
mercy and compassion towards us ; and thus we can 
say with St. Bonavenfrare, ' Mary, thou art full of 
the unction of mercy and of the oil of compassion ;'** 
therefore God has anointed thee with the oil of glad- 
ness. And how beautifully does not B. Albert the 
Great apply to this subject the history of Queen Esther, 
who was herself a great type of our Queen Mary. We 
read, in the 4th chapter of the Book of Esther, that in 

^^ Qoando flUam Dei !n atero conoepit, «t postmodnm pepeiit, dimidtam 
BSrtem regal Dei impetmvit, at ipsa dt Regina miaerioordia, at Ghriatafl «•! 
Rex Justi^. 

u Deas, Jodiciom toam Regi da, et jnstitiam taam fillo Regis.— P«.Izzi.3. 

I' Deos }Qdiciuin taam Regi da, et miserioordiam taam R^^iiue llatri 
•tos.--/n Pm Izii. de B, F. 

** Pater omne Jadioium dedit Filio, miserioordias Tero oflBoiam dedit MatrL 

»» Unxit te Deas oleo l»titi».— P«. xiiT. 8. 

1* Maria plena est anctione miserioordisi et oleo pietatia.— 4)ee«/iM» S, 11 
rirg, leet. 7. 

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ttATL, UOj.t Qt«EN, MOTflEE OJ' MEBOt. l6 

the reign of Assoenis, a decree was issued, by which all 
Jews were condemned to death. Mardochai, who was 
one of the condemned, addressed himself to Esther, in 
order that she might interpose with Assuerus, and ob- 
tain thosre vocation of the decree, and thus be the salva- 
tion of all. At first Esther declined the office, fearing 
that such a request might irritate the king still more ; 
but Mardochai reproved her, sending her word that she 
was not to think only of saving herself, for God had 
placed her on the throne to obtain the salvation of all 
the Jews : " think not that thou mayest save thy life 
only, because thou art in the king's house, more than 
all the Jews.'^'^ Thus did Mardochai address Queen Es- 
ther. And so can we poor sinners address our Queen 
Mary, should she show any repugnance to obtain of 
God our delivery from the chastisement we have justly 
deserved : ' Think not, Lady, that God has raised 
thee to the dignity of Queen of the world, only to pro- 
vide for thy good j but in order that, being so great, 
thou mightest be better able to compassionate and 
assist us miserable creatures.' 

As soon as Assuerus saw Esther standing before 
him, he asked her, with love, what she came to seek. 
^* What is thy request ? " The queen replied, "if I have 
found favot in thy sight, O king, give me my people, 
for which I request."^ Assuerus granted her request, 
and immediately ord^ered the revocation of the decree. 
And now, if Assuerus, through love for Esther, granted, 
at her request, salvation to the Jews, how can God re- 
fuse the prayers of Mary, loving her immensely as He 
does, when she prays for poor miserable sinners, who 
recommend themselves to her, and says to Him, ' My ' 
King and my God, if ever I have found favor in Thy 
eight ' (though the Divine Mother well knows that she 
was the blessed, the holy one, the only one of the 

^ Me ptites, qaod animam toam tentom llberea, qtda in domo Beglt ti 
fUb cnnetis Jndteis— JSv«. It. 13. 

1* QiuB est petitlotaat Dona mlhi pc^alnm meam pro goo obeew» 


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human race wbo found the grace lost by all mankind j 
well does she know that she is the beloved one of her 
Lord, loved more than all the saints and angels to- 

§ ether), 'give me my people for which I ask.' If 
lou loveet me, she says, ' give me, Lord, these sin- 
ners, for whom I entreat Thee/ Is it possible that God 
should refuse her? And who is ignorant of the power ol 
the prayers of Mary with God? "The law of clemency 
k on her tongue."^^ Each of her prayeA is, as it were^ 
AH established law for our Lord, that He should show 
mercy to all for whom she intercedes. St. Bernard asks 
why the Church calls Mary ' the Queen of Mercy' T And 
he replies, that Mt is because we believe that she opens 
the abyss of the mercy of God to whomsoever she wills, . 
when she wills, and as she wills; so that there is no 
sinner, however great, who is lost if Mary protects 

But perhaps we may fear that Mary would not deign 
to interpose for some sinners, on account of their being 
so overloaded with crimes ? Or perhaps we ought to be 
overawed at the majesty and holiness of this great Queen T 
'No,' says St. Gregory the Seventh; 'for the higher and 
more holy she is, the greater is her sweetness and com- 
passion towards sinners, who have recourse to her with 
the desire to amend their lives.^^ Kings and queens, 
with their ostentation of majesty, inspire terror, and 
cause their subjects to fear to approach them : bit what 
fear, says St. Bernard, can the miserable have to ap- 
proach this Queen of Mercy, for she inspkes no terror, 
and shows no severity, to those who come to her, but 
is all sweetness and gentleness. ' Why should human 
ftailty fear to go to Mary 1 In her there is no austerity, 
nothing terrible : she is all sweetness, offering milk aiMi 

I* Lez elemenfia In MngaA eJtuL— IVov. zzid. SS. 

** Qnod diiriiuB i^etatis abyssom, oai yalt, qoando Tidt, et qaomodoTvl^ 
•reditar aperire ; at qnivis enormia peooator non pereat, oni ■anota fanolo* 
mm patrdoioii sni soAragia pnestat — S. Bern, in Salve Reg, 

^ ifaria qnanto altiof et sanotior, tantn elementicr ft daldor eknm «■ 
HnKM pMoatoMt.- -lib L £p. 47. 

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vvool to alL^'^ATy is not only willing to give, but she 
heroelf offers milk and wool to all : tlie milk of mercy 
to Animate our confidence, and the wocrt of her pro- 
tection against the thunderbolts of Divine justice. 

Suetonius^ relates of the Emperor Titus that he eonld 
never refuse a favour, so much so that he sometimet 
promised more than he could grant,. and when admon- 
ished of this he replied, that a prince should never send 
away any person whom he admitted to his audience dis- 
gati^ed. Titus spoke thus, but in reality he must often 
have deceived or failed in his promises. Our Queen 
cannot deceive, and can obtam all that she wills for her 
clients. Moreover, * ourLord has given her so benign 
and cjompassionate a heart,' says Ijanspergius, ^ that me 
cannot send away any one dissatisfied who prays to.'** 
her. But how, to use the words of St. Bonaventnre, 
canst thou, O Mary, who art the Queen of Mercy, refuse 
to succour the miserable T And ' who,' aske the Saint, 
' are the subjects for mercy, if not the miserable T And 
since thou .art the Queen of Mercy/ he continues, ^and 
I am the most miserable of sinnere, it follows that 
I am the first of thy subj(X5ts. How, then, Lady, 
canst thou do otherwise than exercise thy mercy on 
me t'*' 

Have pity on us, then, Queen of Mercy, and take 
charge of our salvation. ^ say not, holy Virgin,' ex- 
claims St. George of Nicomedia, 'that thou canst not 
assist us on account of the number of our sins, for thy 
power^and compassion is such, that no number of sing, 
however great, can outweigh it. Nothing resists thy 
power, for our common Creator, hoi curing thee as Hit 

^ Qaid ad Marlam aocedere trepidet humana fragnHas t Nihil \ 
in ea, nihil terribile ; tota faavis est, omnibus offereDi lao et 1 
Shan. Mugn. 

»Tit. c .8 

** Adeo feci earn bmiiffnam, nt neminem a se redire tristem rinal— 

Op. Min. lib. L AUoq. can. 12. 

^ Tn es Regina miserioordis, et qui rnfserioordise subditi niri mitMi 
8«d Reghia misericord isB es, et egpo miserrimns peocatorum, labditonui 
nazlvtaii. Qnomodo ergo, Domina, noo exercebis io memstipsam tnp 
»iii0»«HoBi« elEBOtiiQit— <9»'m. Am. p. 3, in 9q]». Beg. 

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Motlier, considering thy glory as His own I'^^nd the 
Son, 'exulting in it, fulfils thy petitions as if He wer^ 
paying a debt f^ meaning thereby, that although Mary 
is under an infinite obligation to the Son for having 
chosen her to be His Mother, yet it cannot be denied 
but that the Son is under great obligation to her for 
having given Him His humanity ; and therefore Jesua, 
to pay as it were what He owes to Mary, and glorying 
in her glory, honours her in a special manner by listen 
ing to and granting all her petitions. 

How great, then, should be our confidence in this 
Queen, knowing her great power with God, and that 
she is so rich and full of mercy, that there /is no one 
living on the earth, who does not partake of her com- 
passion and favour. This was revealed by our Blessed 
Lady herself to St Bridget, saying, ^I am the Queen 
of heaven and the Mother of Mercy ; I am the joy of 
the just, and the door through which sinners are brought 
to God. There is no sinner on earth so accursed as to 
be deprived of my mercy ; for all, if they receive nothing 
else through my intercession, receive the gi'ace of being 
less tempted by the devils than they would otherwise 
have been f^ ^No one,'she adds, 'unless the irrevo- 
cable sentence has been pronounced' (that is, the one 
pronounced on the damned), ' is so cast off by God, that 
he will not return to Him, and enjoy His mercy, if he 
invokes my aid.*^ *I am called by all the Mother of 
Mercy, and truly the mercy of my Son towards men has 
made me thus merciful towards them j'** and she con- 

** Habea inauperobllem potentiam ; habes vim in expngn^bilem. N« 
roffo tnulta nostra x>eccata, immeasam tuae miserationis vim saperent.... 

Nihil enim reaistit tua potentiaB quippe saam Filius tuns, toam eziati 

mat gloriam. — Or. de Ingressu B. V, 

^ Eaqae tanqoam Filius exultans, postulata ceu debitor implet — lb. 

^ E^o Regiua coeli, ego mater misericordise : eg'o justomm gandinm. •( 
•ditus peccatorum ad Deum. Nullus est adeo maledictus. qui quamdia 
vivit oareat misericordia mea ; quia propter me levius tentaturademonibui 
qnam alias tentaretur. — Rev. lib. vi. cap. 10. 

^ NuUus itH alienatus est de Deo, nisi omnino ftient maieuioiUM, qui, m 
ne invooaverit, non revertatur ad Deum, et habebit miserioordiam. — lo. 

so Efi^o vocor ab omnibus mater misericordi», ven filia miswiourdia Filil 
mA vdMrioordem me fecit.— iZev. lib. ii. cai>. 33 

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dndes by saying, ' and therefore miserable will he be, 
and miserable will he be to all eternity, who, in this 
life, having it in his power to invoke me, who am so 
compassionate to all, and so desirous to assist sinners, is 
miserable enough not to invoke me, and so is (Jaumed.^ 
Let us, then, fly, and fly always, to the feet of this 
Host sweet Queen, if we would be certain of salvation ; 
And if we are alarmed and disheartened at the sight of 
our sins, let us remember that it is in order t*» save the 
greatest and most abandoned sinners, who recommend 
themselves to her, that Mary is mado the Queen of 
Mercy. Such have to be her crown in heaven ; ac- 
cording to the words addressed to her by her Divine 
Spouse : " Come from Libanus, my spouse j come from 
Libanus, come : thou shalt be crowned. . . . from 
the dens of the lions, from the mountains of the leop- 
ards."® And what are these dens of beasts, but mis- 
erable sinners, whose souls have become the home of sin, 
the most finghtful monster that can be found. ' With 
such souls,' says the Abbot Rupert, addressing our 
Blessed Lady, ' saved by thy means, gieat Queen 
Mary, wilt thou be crowned in heaven ; for their sal- 
vation will form a diadem worthy of, and well-becom- 
ing, a Queen of Mercy.' ^ On this subject read the 


We read, in the life of Sister Catherine of St. 
Augustine, that in the place where she resided, there 
was a woman, of the name of Mary, who in her youth 
was a sinner, and in her old age continued so obstinate 
in wickedness, that she was driven out of the city, and 
reduced to live in a secluded cave ; there she died, half 
consumed by disease, and without the sacraments, and 

n Ideo raiser erit, qui ad misericordiam, cum poesit, non aooedit— -itev. cap. 23. 

'"Veoi de Libano, sponsa mea, veni de Libano, veni, ooronaberi8....d€ 
mbllibat leoDum, de montibus imrdorum. — Cant. iv. 8. 

• De talinm leonum oubilitna tafioramqae pardorum montibot to, i 
■MA, ooronabezii Eorum lalut oorona tua erit.— i» CauU lib. Hi. 

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was consequently interred in a field like a beast 
Sister Catherine, wlio always recommended the souls 
of those who departed from this world, with great fer- 
vor to God, on hearing the unfortunate end of this poor 
poor old woman, never thought of praying for her, and 
she look-ed upon her (as did every one else) as irrevo- 
cably lost One day, four years afterwards, a suffering 
soul appeared to her, and exclaimed : ' How unfortunate 
is my lot. Sister Catherine! thou reoommendest the 
souls of all those that die to God : on my soul alone 
thou hast not compassion.' ^And who art thouT* 
asked the servant of God. ^ I am,' she replied, ' that 
poor Mary, who died in the cave.' ^ And art thou 
saved ? ' said Catherine. ' Yes,' she answered, ' by 
the mercy of the Blessed Virgin Mary.' ^ And how,' 
' When I saw myself at the point of death, loaded 
with sins, and abandoned by all, I had recourse to the 
Mother of God, saying. Lady, thou art the refuge of 
abandoned creatures : behold me, at this moment, 
abandoned by all j thou art my only hope ; thou alone 
canst help me : have pity on me. The Blessed Virgin 
obtained me the grace to make an act of contrition. 
I died, and am saved j and besides this, she my 
Queen, obtained that my purgatory should be short- 
ened, by enduring, in intensity, that which otherwise 
would have lasted for many years : I now only want 
a few masses to be entirely delivered ; I beg thee to 
get them said 5 and on my part, I promise always to 
pray for thee to God and to Mary.' Sister Catherine 
immediately had the masses said ; and after a few dayg 
that soul again appeared to her, shining like the sun, 
and said : * I thank thee, Catherine : behold, I go to 
Paradise, to sing the mercies of my God, and to pray 
for thee. 


0, Mother of my God, and my Lady Mary ; as ft 
beggar, all wounded and sore, presents himself before a 
great queen, eo do I pres^^^^t myself before thee, wha 

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art the Queen of heaven and earth. From the lof^ 
throne on which thon sittest, disdain not, I implorejthee, 
to east thine eyes on me, a poor sinner. GUmI haB mad« 
thee so rich that thoa mightest assist the poor, and hai 
constitated thee Queen of Mercj in order that thou 
mightest relieve the miserable. Behold me then, and 
pity me : behold me, and abandon me not, until thon 
ieest me changed from a sinner into a saint. I know 
well that I merit nothing } nay more, that I deserve, on 
account of my ingratitude, to be deprived of the moee 
that, through thy means, I have already received from 
Qod, Btit thou, who art the Queen of Mercy, seekest 
not merits, but miseries, in order to help the needy. 
But who is more needy than If 

0, exalted Virgin, well do I know that thon, who 
art Queen of the universe, art already my queen ; yet 
am I determined to dedicate myself more especially to 
thy service, in order that thou mayest dispose of me at 
thou pleasest Therefore do I address thee in the worda 
of St. Bonaventure :^ ' Do thou govern me, O my Queen, 
and leave me not to myself.' Command me^ * employ 
me as thou wilt, and chastise me when I do not obey ; 
for the chastisements that come from thy hands will to 
me be pledges of salvation. I value more the being 
thy servant than being ruler of the earth. '^ I am thine ; 
save me.''* Accept me, Mary, for thine own, and at 
thine, take charge of. my salvation. I will no longer 
bemihe; to thee do I give myselt If, during the time 
past I have served thee ill, and lost so many occasicmt 
of honouring thee, for the future I will be one of thy 
most loving and faithful servants. I am determinea 
that from this day forward no one shall surpass me in 
honouring and loving thee, my most amiable Queen. 
This I promise; and this, with thy help, I hope to 
execute. Amen. 

Donlns, bm totaHtor toM dominfttloiil ooniiiiltloii vt bm pliBHW ] 
Bb«nMS. Nod mthi me r«Uiiqiu«.~/a SahM lU§t 
Tom mm jgo^ »lTiim m» Am.— Pt. czriiL 94. 

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SbotiokIL H<noimiehoura>nfidencemMarp87Muld 
le increased from the factqf her hemg our Mother. 

It is not without a meaning, or by chance, that 
Haiy's clients call her Mother ; and indeed they seem 
unable to invoke her under any other name, and nevei 
tire of calling her Mother. Mother, yes ! for she is 
truly our Mother ; not indeed carnally, but spiritually; 
of our souls and of our salvation. Sin, by depriving 
our souls of Divine grace, deprived them also of life. 
Jesus our Eedeemer, with an excess of mercy and love, 
came to restore this life by His own death on the cross, 
as He Himself declared : ^^ I am come that they may 
have life, and may have it more abundantly."^ He says 
more abundantly; for, according to theologians, the 
benefit of redemption fai exceeded the injury done by 
Adam's sin. So that by reconciling us with Otod He 
made Himself the Father of Souls in the law of grace, 
as it was foretold by the prophet Isaias : ^^ He shall be 
called "the Father of the world to come, the Prince of 
Peaoe.^ But if Jesus is the Father of our Souls, Maiy 
is also their Mother ; for she, by giving us Jesus, gave 
US true life ; and afterwards, by offering the life of her 
Bon on Mount Calvary for our salvation, she brought 
OS forth to the life of grace. 

On two occasions, then, according to the holy Fathers^ 
Mary became our spiritual Mother. And the first, ac- 
cording to Blessed Albert the Great,^ was when she 
merited to conceive in her virginal womb the Son of 
God. St. Bernardino of Sienna says the same thing 
more distinctly, for he teUs us,Hhat when at the An- 
Afmdation the most Blessed Virgin ga ve the consent 
which was expected by the Eternal Word before be- 
coming her Son, she from that moment asked our sal- 
vation of God with intense ardour, and took it to heart 

> VfBi, Qt yituiL babMntk et almndantliif hAXteaaL-^om* s. 10. 
* PiRter fbtori MBonU, prinoq[« paoifb— /t. i^ 9f 

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in Bacli a way, that from that mothent, as a most lovioff 
motbeiy slie bore us in her womb/^ In the second 
chapter of St. Lake, the Evangelist; speaking of the 
birth of our Blessed Bedeemer, says that Mary '* brought 
forth her first-born son.''^ Then, remarks an author, 
' since the Evangelist asserts that on this occasion tbt 
most Holy Virgin brought forth her first-bom, must we 
fuppose that she had anerwards other children V But 
then he leplies to his own question, saying, * that as it 
is of faith that Mary had no other children according, 
to the flesh than Jesus, she must have had other spi- 
ritual children, and we are those children.'* This was 
revealed by our Lord to St. Gertrude, Vho was one day 
reading the above text, and was perplexed and could 
not understand how Mary, being only the Mother of 
Jesus, could be said to have brought forth her first-bom. 
God explained it to her, saying, that Jesus was Mary^s 
first-born according to the flewi, but that all mankind 
were her second-bom according to the Spirit. 

From what has been said, we can understand that 
passage of the sacred Canticles : '^ Thy belly is like a 
heap of wheat, set about with lilies,''® and which applies 
to Mary. And it is explained by St. Ambrose, who 
says : ' That although in the most pure womb of Mary 
there was but one grain of com, which was Jesus Christ, 
yet it is called a heap of wheat, because aU the elect 
were virtually contained in it ;'^ and as Mary was also 
to be their Mother, in bringing forth Jesus, He was truly 
and is called the nrst-bom of many brethren. And the 

* Ylrgo per hnno oonsensmn In looamatione filii omniam eleotoram falo' 
tam TigorMissime ezpetUt et prooniayit : et omniam saluti et eoram salya- 
tkmi per banc oonsensum se ^ngalarissime dedioavit : ita utez tano omnM 
In ndsTiaoeribas bi^alaret, tanqoam veriMima mater filioe suog. — Dr. deBV 
Berm. viii. 

* Peperit fiUiam sanrn primogenitom, — ^J^tie.ii.7 

* Si primogenituB, ergo alii filii secuti sunt geoondogeniti- ...CamalM 
BolkM babnit Beata Vitro prseter Ghristom ; exgo spiritoalet babeatnaoeiM 
wt— iStoatm. Polfanth, mL m. t 6. 

' Indn. I. 4, o. 3. 

* Venter tans sicnt aoerroi tritid TaUatu liliis.— Cant y\L 8. 

* In quo Tiiginis atero... aoerytis tritioi....genninabat; qnoidttn.... 
fiwnun tritioi generabat Bed de nno giano trittoi aotrriu eti fc tlM 

-A Aw^, d^JfutU, Yirg 

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Abbot St. WiUiam wiiies in the same sense, saying, 
* that Mary, in bringing forth Jesus, our Saviour and 
our Life, brought forth many unto salvation ; and by 
giving birth to Life itself, she gave life to many.'** 

The second occasion on which Mary became oul 
spiritual Mother, and brought us forth to the life 
of grace, was when she offered to the Eternal 
Father the life of her beloved Son on Mount Calvary, 
with such bitter sorrow and suffering. So that St. 
Augustine declares, that ' as she then cooperated by 
her love in the birth of the faithful to the life of grace, 
she became the spiritual Mother of all who are mem- 
bers of the one Head, Christ Jesus.'^ This we are 
given to understand by the following verse of the 
sacred Canticles, and which refers to the most Blessed 
Virgin : ^' They have made me the keeper in the vine- 
yards ; my vineyard I have not kept.'^ St. William 
says, that * Mary, in order that she might save many 
souls, exposed her own to death f^^ meaning, that to 
save ns, she sacrificed the life of her Son. And who 
bat Jesus was the soul of Mary T He was her life, 
and all her love. And therefore the prophet Simeon 
foretold that a sword of sorrow would one day trans- 
pierce her own most blessed soul." And it was pre- 
cisely the lance which transpierced the side of 
Jesus, who was the soul of Mary, Then it was that 
this most Blessed Virgin brought us forth by her sor- 
rows to eternal life : and thus we can all call ourselves 
the children of the sorrows of Mary. Our most loving^ 
Mother was always, and in all, united to the will of 
God. 'And therefore,' says St. Bonaventure, ' when 
she saw the love of the Eternal Father towards men 

^* In nio noo fraota, In nno Salvatore omnium Jesn plurimos Maria pep^ 
fit ad salatem. Fariendo yitam, mnltoB peperit ad yitam.— Delrio in Com. 
It. 13. 

^ Plane mater membrorom ejut (qnod nos ffamos) qxii ooopemta eft ohftf 
litate, at fideles in Boclesia nasoerentor. — De S. Virffinitate^ cap. yi. 

^ Poeoit me oostodem in vineia ; vineam meam non oostodlyL — Cant L 5. 

>* Ut moltas animot lalyaf fltoeret, animam toam moiii ezpoenift.— IMHf 

M Bi iQimi j^gg aojniaa pextnuMlUt g1mUmh^ZM$, fL 9k 

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to be ^ great that, in order to saye tbem. He willed die 
death of His Son ; and, on the other hand, seeing the 
lore of the Son in wishing to die for ns : in order to 
conform herself to this excessive love of both the 
Father and the Son towards, the human race, she also 
with her entire will offered, and consented to, the death 
of her Son, in order that we might be saved.'^ 

It is trae that, according to the prophecy of Isaias^ 
Jesos, in dying for the redemption of the haman laoe, 
ehose to be ^oue. ^'I have trodden the winepress 
alone f^^ but, seeing the ardent desire of Mary to aid 
in the salvation of man. He disposed it so that she, by 
the sacrifice and offering of the life of her Jesus, 
shonld cooperate in our salvation, and thus become 
tbe Mother of our souls. This our Saviour signified^ 
when, before expiring, He looked down from the (soas 
on His Mother and on the disciple St. John, who stood 
at its foot, and, first addressing Mary, He said, '' Be- 
hold thy Son j''" as it were saying. Behold, the whole 
human race, which by the offer thou makest of My 
life for the salvation of all, is even now bein^ bom 
to the life of grace. Then, turning to the disciple. 
He said, " Behold thy Mother."i« < By these words,' 
says St. Bernardino of Sienna, ^ Mary, by reason of 
the love she bore them, became the Mother, not only 
of St. John, but of all men.'^ And Silveira remarks, 
that St. John Imnself, in stating this fact in his Gospel, 
•ays : '^ Then He said to the disciple, " Behold thy 
Mother.'' Here observe well that Jesus Christ did 
not address Himself to John, but to the disciple, in 
Older to show that He then gave Mary to all who are 
His disciples, that is to say, to all Christians, that she 
might be their Mother. ^ John is but the name of 

» Hallo modo dubltandmn est, qain Marie anhnut Tolaerit etlam tradert 
ilhim aimm pro salate generis hnmani, nt mater per omnia ooafSormif flraal 
Platri et Filio.-^. Ben. in Sent, lib. i. d. 48, a. S, q. 8. 

<* Tonmlar oaloaTi solos.— A. IzUL 3. 

^ Ecce filius tans. — Joan, zix. 26. 

M Delnde dioit disoipnlo : Eeoe mater tna.— Jbon. zbc 97. 

1* In Joanne intelUgimas omnea^ quorom B. Vbfo per dflictioit iMii 

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one, whereas the word disciple is applicable to all ; 
therefore our Lord makes use of a name common to 
all^ to show that Mary was given as a Mother to ns.'" 
The Church apphes to Mary these words of the 
sacred Canticles : " I am the Mother of fBur love ^"^ 
and a commentator explaining them, says, that the 
Blessed Virgin's love renders our souls beautiful in the 
sight of God, and also makes her as a most loving 
mother receive us as her children, * she being all love 
towards those whom she has thus adopted.'^ And what 
mother, exclaims St. Bonaventure, loves her children, 
and attends to their welfare, as thou lovest us and carest 
for us, most sweet Queen ! ' For dost thou not love 
ns and seek our welfare fax more without comparison 
than any earthly mother 1^ 0, blessed are they who 
live under the protection of so loving and powerful a 
mother ! The prophet David, although she was not 
yet bom, sought salvation from God by dedicating 
iiimself as a son of Mary, and thus prayed ; ''Save the 
son of thy handmaid.''^ ' Of what handmaid T asks 
St. Augustine ; and he replies : ' Of her who said, 
Behold the handmaid of the Lord.'^ 'And who,* 
says Cardinal Bellarmine, ' would ever dare to snatch 
these children from the bosom of Mary, when they 
have taken refuge there t What power of hell, or 
what temptation, can overcome them, if they 

Sl|ice their confidence in the patronage of this great 
[other, the Mother of God, and of them!'* 
There are some who say that when the whale 

** JoMBM somen est partionlare. . . .dladpalni nomm est oommone, atUv 
mgo hoc nomiiie oommnni omniboi, nt denotetor, qaod ipia Viigo Kaite 
•nmibus dabatar in matrem. — In Bvang. lib. Tiii. cap. 17, quBft. 14. 

SI Ego mater polohm dilectionit.~JBoe2e«. zrir. 94. 

** Quia tota est amor erga noe quoi in filioi reoepit— Poee^tA 4to P9, 
Ixzxvi. ezc. 83. 

** Nonne ploi tine comparatlone noi diUffis, m boaiim noilnuii pg o onta% 
•a»lias qoam mater oamaliit— /n Salv. M*g, 

** SalTom Cm filiom anoilla ttuB. — P«. Izxxy. 16. 

" Cnjni anoilla qua ait, Eoee ancilla DominL~/» P«. Izzxr. 

** Qoam bene nobif erit tub prMidio tanta Matriif Quia not detndMM 
MideUt de sino einat Qa« not tentatio, qua tribnlatio iopeiaio pul u l l , 
•dMentet ia patioeiito lUtrit Del et aoitwil BiXiwrm 4$ g^ r«4 

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BAn<; HOLT Qtnaar, hothbb ov hxbox. tl 

ita young in danger^ either from tempeett of 
pnrsaerS; it opens its month and swallows them. This 
IS precisely what Novarinns asserts of Mary: 'When 
the storms of temptations rage, the most compasmonat* 
Mother of the faithful, with maternal tenderness, pro- 
tects them as it were in her own bosom until she hat 
brought them into the harbour of salyaHon.^ O moift 
loying Mother! most compasdionate Mother! be 
ihon ever blessed ; and ever blessed be Grod, who has 
given thee to us for our Mother, and for a secure refngv 
in all the dangers of this life. Our Blessed Lady her- 
self, in a vision addressed these words to St. Bridget z 
^ As a mother on seeing her son in the midst of tb« 
swords of his enemies would use every effort to sav« 
him, so do I, and will do for all sinners who seek my 
mercy .'^ Thus it is that in every engagement with thy 
infernal powers we shall always certainly conquer by 
having recourse to the Mother of God, who is also our 
Mother, saying and repeating again and again : ' We fly 
to thy patronage, holy Mother of God : we fly to thy 
patronage, O holy Mother of God.^ 0, how many vic- 
tories^ have not the faithful gained over hell, by having 
recourse to Mary with this short but most powerfiu 
prayer ! Thus it was that the great servant of God, 
Sister Mary the Orudfied, of the Order of St. Benedict^ 
always overcame the devils. 

Be of good heart, then, all you who are childem of 
Maiy. Bemember that she accepts as her children all 
those who chose to be so. Eejoice ! Why do yon fear 
to be lost, when such a Mother defends and protecta 

fonl * Say, then, my soul, with great confidence : 
will rejoice and be glad ; for whatever the judgment 
to be pronounced on me may be, it depends on and 
must come from my Brother and Mother.'** * ThuB| 

^ Fidelltun frfiidma Mater, fturento tentatioDom temp«itate, matonoa^ 
$mka eoa Ttint intra -liseera propria reoeptot pn^tegit, doneo in beatom poi>* 
tBM repooat.— F. oi^. exe. 81. t 

"■Ita ego fttoio, at fooiam omnibni peooatorlboa miserioordiaa meaai • 
do meo petentibus.— iSen. lib. iT. caps 128. 

* Pto, anima mea, own magna fidnoia : exultabo at latabor, quia qafo^aU 
SsAMaUtor da mat paadat ax iantantia ftatria at makis ma»-^ M$mm 
— La^l. 

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■aTB St. BoiKiyentarey 'it is that each one who Iovm 
ihiB good Mother, and relies on her protection, should 
animate himself to confidence, remembering that Jesas 
is our Brother, and Maiy onr Mother.' The same thought 
makes St. Anselm cry out with joy, and encourage uB| 
saying: * Oj happy confidence! safe refuge! tha 
Mother of God is my Moth^. How firm, then, should 
be our confidence, since our salvation depends on the 
judgment of a good Brother and a tender Mother!^ It 
IS, then, our Mother who calls us, and says, in these 
words of the Book of Proverbs: ''He that is a little 
one, let him turn to me.'^^ Children have always on 
their lips their mother's name, and in every fear, in 
every danger, they immediately cry out, Mother, mother! 
Ah, most sweet Mary! ah, most loving Mother! this 
is precisely what thou desirest: that we should become 
children, and call on thee in every danger, and at all 
times have recourse to thee, because thou desirest to 
help and save us, as thou hast saved all who have had 
zecourse to thee. 


In the history of the foundation of the Society of 
Jesus in the kingdom of Naples,** we read the following 
account Df a young Scotch nobleman, named William 
Elphinstone. He was related to king James, and lived 
for some time in the heresy in which he was bom. En- 
lightened by Divine grace, he began to perceive his 
errors, and having gone to France, with the help of a 
good Jesuit father, who was also a Scotchman, and still 
more by the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, he at 
length discovered the truth, abjured his heresy, and be-~ 
oame a Catholic. From France he went to Bome; and 
there a friend, finding him one day weeping and in great 
affliction, inquired the cause of his grief. He replied, 

■*0 brats fldooia,0 tatnm reftigiuml Mater Del ett Mater Bottim...Q«i 
lyitar oertitudine debemcu sperare. . .qaorom dve kalos tire damnation 4a 
bODi fratrii et de pi» matrii peodeot arbitrio t~Or, U. otf A F. 

*> Si quia eit parynliu, yeniat ad me.— JYo*. fab 4. 

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that during the niglit his mother, who was lost, appeared 
to him, and said : ' It is well for thee, son, that thou 
hast entered the troe Church ) for as I died in heresy, 1 
am lost.' From that moment he redoubled his devo- 
tions towards Maiy, choosing her for his only Mother, 
and by her he was inspired with the thought of em- 
bracing the religious state, and he bound himself to do so 
by vow. Being in delicate health, he went to Naples 
(or change of air, and there it was the will of God that 
te should die, and die as a religious ; for shortly after 
his aniyal, finding himself at the last extremity, by his 
prayers and tears he moved the superiors to acoept'him, 
and in presence of the most Blessed Sacrament, when 
he received it as viaticum, he pronounced his vows, and 
was declared a member of the society of Jesus. After 
this it was most touching to hear with what tenderness 
he thanked his Mother Mary for having snatched him 
from heresy, and led him to die in the true Church, and 
in the house of God, surrounded by his religious bre- 
thren. This made him exclaim : ' 0, how prions is 
it to die in the midst of so many angels !' When ex- 
horted to repose a little, ' Ah,' he replied, ' this is no 
time for repose, now that I am at the close of my life.' 
Before expiring, he said to those who surronndea him : 
' Brothers, do you not see the angels of Heaven here 
present who assist mef One of the religious havii^ 
neaid him mutter some words, asked him what he saioL 
He replied, that his guardian angel had revealed to him 
that he would remain but a very short time in purga- 
tory, and that he would soon go to heaven. He then 
entered into a colloquy with his sweet Mother Mary, 
and like a child that abandons itself to rest in the arms 
of its mother, he exclaimed, ^Mother, mother P and 
fweetly expired. Shortly afterwards a dev out religiooi 
learnt by revelation that he was already in heaven. 


O moat holy Mother Mary, how is it possible thai 

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I; having so holy a mother, should be 00 wicked T a 
Mother all burning with the love of God, and I lovinff 
creatures ; a Mother so rich in virtue, and I so poor 1 
Ah, ainial>le Mother , it is true that I do not deserve 
any long^ to be thy son, lor by my wicked life I have 
rendered myself unworthy of so great an honor. I 
am satisfied that thou shouldst accept me for thy ser* 
▼ant; and in order to be admitted amongst the vilest 
of* them, I am ready to renounce all the kin^domid ctf 
the world. Yes, I am satisfied. But still thou most 
not forbid me to caU thee Mother. This nam6 consoles 
and fills me with tenderness, and reminds me of my 
obligation to love thee. This name excites me to great 
confidence in thee. When my sins and the Divine 
justice fiU me most with consternation, I am all con- 
soled at the thought that thou art my Mother. Allow 
me then to call thee Mother, my most amiable Mother. 
Thus do I call thee, aud thus will I always caU thee. 
Thou, after GU)d, must be my hope, my refuge^ my love 
in this valley of tears. Thus do I hope to die, breath- 
ing forth my soul into thy holy hands, and saying, My 
Mother, my Mother Mary, help me, have pity on me I 

Sbctiov III. On the greatness qf (he love which Mi 
Mother hears us. 

Since Mary is otir Mother, we may consider how 
ffieat is the love she bears us ; love towards our children 
fa a necessary impulse of nature; and St. Thomas' 
says that this is the reason why the Divine law imposes 
on children the obligation of loving their parents ; hut 
gives no express command that parents should love their 
children, for nature itself has so strongly implanted it 
in all creatures, that, as St. Ambrose remarks, ' we know 
that a mother will expose herself to danger for her 


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HAIL; HOLT qvtmx, HOTHSB OF icucr. 9 

•hildren,'' and even ^e most savage beasts cannot d| 
otherwise than love their young.' It is said that oven 
tigers, on hearing the cry of their cubs taken by huntanL 
mil go into the sea and swim until they reach the vessd 
in which they are. Since the very tigers, says our moil 
loving Mother Mary, cannot forget their young, how 
can I forget to love you, my children T And even, Bbi$ 
adds, were such a thing possible as that a nM>ther should 
forget to love her child, it is not possible that I should 
cease to love a soul that has become my child : '^ Gan a 
woman forget her infant, so as not to have pity on the 
son of her womb ? And if she should forget, yet will I 
not forget thee.''^ Mary is our Mother, not, as we have 
ahready observed, according to the flesh, but by love j "I 
am the Mother of fair love f^ hence it is the love only 
that she bears us that makes her our Mother ; and there* 
fore some one remarks, ' that she glories in being a 
Mother of loVe, because she is all love towards us whom 
she had adopted for her children.'* And who can ever 
tell the love that Mary bears us miserable creatures T 
Arnold of Ghartres tells us that ' at the death of Jesus 
Christ, she desired with immense ardour to die with 
her Son, for love of us f'^ so much so, adds St. Ambrose^ 
that whilst ' her Son hung on the cross, Mary offered 
herself to the executioners,'^ to give her life for us. 

But let us consider the reason of this love; for thea 
we shall be better able to understand how much thii 
good Mother loves us. The flrst reason for the great 
£>ve that Mary bears to men, is the great love that she 
beais to God ; love towards G^ and love towards our 

* SoimoB quia mater pro filiia se offert perioulo. — ^L. yi. Exp. Et. 4. 

* Natnra hoc iMstiis infdndit, ut catalog proprioi ament.— ^. Amlbrm, 
M»mh. 1. 6, 0. 4. 

* Nnmquid oblivisoi potest mulier iofitntem snam, at non misereator fllia 
mSokA sui t Bt ti ilia oblita fuerit, ego tamen non oblirifloar t«L— iSi. zlix. IflL 

* Ego mater palchrs dilectionis. — Eccles. zzIt. 84. 

* Se dilectionis esse matrem merito gloriatur, quia tota est amor erga noi^ 
foos in Alios reoepit. — JPcuxittch, in Pa. 86, Bxc. zjdl. n. 5. 

' Optabat quidem ipsa, ad sanguinem animsB, et camis soib adder* •■■• 

Ifiiinem et cam Domino Jesu corporal! morte redemptionit noftra oom- 

•ommare mysteriam. — Dt »e^. Vmh. Dcm, 

* Pendebat ia ornoe fiUa% mater peneoatoriboi m offeivlMi ,.D% JmL 

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neighbotir belong to the same commandment, as ex 
pressed by St. John: "tins commandment we have 
from. God, that he wbo loveth God, love also lis bro- 
ther j"* so that as the one becomes greater the other 
also increases. What have not the Saints done for thei^ 
neighbour in consequence of their love towards God ! 
Eead only the account of the labours of St. Francifl 
Xavier in the Indies, where, in order to aid the souls 
of these poor barbarians and bring them to God, he 
exposed himself to a thousand dangers, clambering 
amongst the mountains, and seeking out these poor 
creatures in the caves in which they dwelt like wild 
beasts. See a St. Francis of Sales, who, in order to 
convert the heretics of the province of Chablais, risked 
his life every morning, for a whole year, crawling on 
his hands and feet over a frozen beam, in order that he 
might preach to them on the opposite side of a river ; 
a St. Paulinus, who delivered himself up as a slave, 
in order that* he might obtain liberty for the son of a 
poor widow j a St. Fidelis, who, in order to draw the 
heretics of a certain place to God, persisted in going to 
preach to them, though he knew it would cost him 
ids life. The Saints, then, because they loved God 
much, did much for their neighbour; but who ever 
loved Gx^d as much as Mary Y She loved Him more 
in the first moment of her existence than all the sainta 
and angels ever loved Him, or will love Him ; but 
this we shall explain at length, when treating of her 
virtues. Our Blessed Lady herself revealed to Sister 
Mary the Crucified, that the fire of love with which 
she was inflamed towards God was such, that if the 
heavens and earth were placed in it, they would be in- 
Btantly consumed j so that the ardours of. the seraphim, 
in comparison with it, were but as fresh breezes. And 
AS amongst all the blessed spirits, there is not one that 
loves God more than Mary, so we neither have nor can 
have any one who, after God, loves us as much as thii 

tBoo flMndatam liabtmiu a Dm^ at foi dOigtt Dwm, dUlgal tt 

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most loving Mother; and if we concentrate all the 
love tbat mothers bear their children, hasbands and 
wives one another, all the love of angels and saintf 
for Uieir clients, it does not e^nal the love of Mai; 
towards a single sonl. Father Nieremberg^® says that 
the love that all mothers have ever had for their chit 
dren is but a shadow in comparison with the love 
that Mary bears to each one of ns ; and he adds, that 
she alone loves ns more than all the angels and sainti 
put together. 

Moreover, our Mother loves ns much, because we 
were recommended to her by her beloved Jesus, when 
He before expiring said to her, "Woman, behold thy 
son !" for we were all represented in the person of St. 
John, as we have already observed : these were His last 
words ; and the last recommendations left before death 
by persons we love are always treasured and never for- 
gotten. But ^ain, we are exceedingly dear to Mary on 
account of the sufferings we cost her ; mothers generally 
love those children most, the preservation of whose lives 
has cost them the most suffering and anxiety ; we are 
those children for whom Mary, in order to obtain for 
ns the life of grace, was obliged to endure the bitter 
agony of herself offering her beloved Jesus to die an 
ignominious death, and had also to see Him expire be- 
fore her own eyes in the midst of the most cruel and 
nnheard-of torments. It was then by this great offering 
of Mary that we were bom to the life of grace } we are 
therefore her very dear children, since we cost her so 
great suffering. And thus, as it is written of the love 
of the EtemsJ Father towards men, in giving His own 
Son to death for ns, that " God so loved the world at 
to give His only-begotten Son.''^^ ' So also,' says St» 
Bonaventnre, 'we can say of Mary, that she has so 
loved ns as to give her only-begotten Son for us.''* 

^JhJf.ergaB. r.e.14. 

" tto ]>Mt dUixtt Budam, at flUnm waam nlftidfu 

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34 BAIL, HOLT Qinaary kothxb ov mbbot. 

And wlien did she eive Him T She gave Him^ flayi 
Father Nieremberg,^ when she granted Him permis- 
don tq. deliver Himself up to death; she gave Him, 
when, others neglecting to do so, either out of hatied or 
from fear, she might herself have pleaded for the life of 
her Son before the judges ; and well may it be supposed 
that the words of so wise and loving a mother would 
have had great weight, at least with Pilate, and might 
have prevented him from sentencing a man to death 
whom he knew and had declared to be innocent. Bat 
no, Maiy would not say a word in favour of her Son^ 
lest she might prevent that death on which our salva- 
tion depended. Finally, she gave Him a thousand and 
a thousand times, during the three hours preceding His 
death, and which she spent at the foot of the cross ; for 
during the whole of that time she unceasingly offered, 
with the extreme of sorrow and the extreme of love, 
the life of her Son in our behali^ and this with such 
constancy, that St. Anselm and St. Antoninus say,^ 
that if executioners had been wanting, she herself would 
have crucified Him, in order to obey the Eternal Father 
who willed His death for our salvation. If Abraham 
had such fortitude as to be ready to sacrifice with his 
own hands the life of his son, with far greater fortitude 
would Mary (£eu: more holy and obedient than Abraham) 
have sacrificed the life of hers. But let us return to the 
consideration of the gratitude we owe to Mary, for so 
great an act of love as was the painful sacrifice of the 
ufe of her Son, which she made to obtain eternal salva- 
tion for us all. God abundantly rewarded Abraham for 
the sacrifice he was prepared to make of his son Isaac ; 
bat we, what return can we make to Mary for the lifo 
of her Jesus, a Son far more noble and beloved than the 
son of Abraham 1 ' This love of Mary,' says St. Bona- 
venture, 'has indeed obliged us to love her; for we see 
that she has surpassed Si others in love towards a% 

» 8to llulft ditozit 110% ntflUam fvoB valffMitB 

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iboe she has given her only Son, whom she loved more 
dum herself ror ns.^ 

From this aiises another motive for the love of Maiy 
towards us; for in ns she beholds that which has been 
purchased at the price of the death of Jesus Christ If 
a mother knew that a servant had been ransomed by a 
beloved son at the price of twenty years of imprison* 
ment and suffering, how greatly would she esteem thai 
servant, if on this account alone! Mary well knows 
diat her Son came into the world only to save us poor 
creatures, as He Himself protested, 'u am come to save 
that which was lost."^^ Aiid to save us He was pleased 
even to lay down His Hfe for us, '^ having become obe- 
dient unto death.''^'' If, then, Mary loved us but little, 
she would show that she valued but little the blood of 
her Son, which was the price of our salvation. To St. 
Elizabeth of Hungary it was revealed, that Mary, £rom 
the time she dwelt in the Temple, did nothing but pray 
for ns, begging that God would hasten the coming of 
His Son into the world to save us. And how much 
more must we suppose that she loves us, now that she 
has seen that we are valued to such a degree by her 
Son, that He did not disdain to purchase us at such a 
cost And because all men have been redeemed by 
Jesus, therefore Mary loves and protects them all. It 
was she who was seen by St. John in the Apocalypse, 
clothed with the sun: ''And a great sign appeared in 
heaven : a woman clothed with the sun.''^^ She is said 
lo be clothed with the sun, because as there is no one 
on earth who can be hidden from the heat of the sun— 
^There is no one that can hide himoelf from his heat '^ 
• there is no one living who can be deprived of the 

'JlvI]ftpOfftMm«MfttiiTftltap«ra]iioremBOflni]n«xaM«to«l, qnstllHi 
la imioom, qo«m niiiItopIiiiMaB»aTit»iioUtdedit| ctpioiiobltolitaHt-* 
M- Motitt9» d$ B, T* Jf. 1. 1. 
" SiUtimi flMcra qaod perlmat— Z«c zlx. 10. 

* ViMtu olMdient uaqiM ad nortom.— p;k»7. tt. 8. 

* IBt ilgiiwB magnum amwniit in o«lo, mnlier nmlflte mUm^ Aam* WL i 
»|toB Ml ^al M abMoadfia iiJfln 4M.-^Fk zftl. 7. 

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love of Mary. '^ From its heat," that iS; as blessed 
Baymond Jordano applies the words, 'from the love of 
Mary.'** 'And who/ exclaims St. Antoninus, 'can ever 
form an idea of the tender care that this most loving 
Mother takes of all of ns,'^ 'offering and dispensing hec 
mercy to everyone;'® for our good Mother desired the 
salvation of all, and cooperated in obtaining it. 'It ui 
evident,' says St. Bernard, 'that she was soudtoos for 
the whole human race.'® Hence the custom of some of 
Mary's clients, spoken of by Cornelius k Lapide, and 
which consists in asking our Lord to grant them the 
graces that our Blessed Lady seeks for them, succeeds 
most advantageously: they say. Lord, grant me that 
which the most Blessed Virgin Mary asks - for me. 
'And no wonder,' adds the same writer, 'for our 
Mother desires for us better things than we can pos- 
sibly desire ourselves.'^ The devout Bernardino da 
Busto says, that Mary 'loves to do us good, and dis- 
pense graces to us far more than we to receive them.'** 
On this subject Blessed Albert the Great applies to 
Mary the words of the Book of Wisdom : "She pre- 
venteth them that covet her, so that she first showeth 
herself unto them."® Mary anticipates those who have 
recourse to her by making them find her before they 
seek her. ' The lovs that this good Mother bears us 
is so great,' says Richard of St. Lawrence, ' that as soon 
as she perceives our want, she comes to our assistance* 
She comes before she ia called.'^ 

And now, if Mary id so good to all, even to the un- 
grateful and negligent, mho love her but little, and 
seldom have recourse to her, how much more loving 

** A oaloro ejoi, id eit a dflectkme Vaj\m,—Oonteiifypl. deV,M. fn pnL 
^ Oh qnanta est onra B. Virgrin! matri de nobis I^Tom. It. T!t. 15^ «. & 
" Omnibns aperit tinnm misericordiae snsB. — ^Ibid. 
" Comtat pro uniyeno genera bomano ftiiiM aollioitain.— Jii AttmM, A 
M. Senn. iv. 

** Ipea enim mi^^'n^ optat, qnam not optare ponnmiig. t 
** Flof enim desiderat ipea Iboere tibi bonam et laivirl §Sqaam iiilliin, 
ta aedpere oononpiMae.~Jfar<al. P. ii Sena. 5. dc NaL B, r. 

Pneoocupat qoi se conoapiioaat, at iUii le prior oetendat— 3iqR. tL li 
Tttociw OMaxitt q)iu pi«lM qoam torBOilM. Jifi Ai OmL 9»2 "^ 

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win she be to those who love her and often oall npon 
her ! ^' She is easily fonnd by them that seek her."** 
' 0; bow easy/ adds the same Blessed Albert, ^ is it for 
those who love Mary to find her, and to find her fioll of 
compassion and love !' In the words of the Book of 
Proverbs, " I love them that love mOj^'^she protests 
that she cannot do otherwise than love those ^o love 
her And although this most loving Lady loves all 
men as her children, yet, says St. Bernard, ^ she recog- 
nises and loves,'^ that is' she loves in a more special 
manner, those who love her more tenderly. Blessed 
Raymond Jordano asserts that these happy lovers of 
Mary are not only loved bat even served by her 2 for 
he says that those who find the most Blessed Virgin 
Mary, find all ; for she loves those who love her, nay 
more, she serves those who serve her.** 

In the chronicles of the Order of St. Dominic it is 
related that one of the friars named Leonard used te 
recommend himself two hundred times a day to this 
Mother of Mercy, and that when he was attacked by 
his last illness, he saw a most beautiful queen by ma 
side, who thus addressed him : ' Leonard, wilt thou die, 
and come and dwell with my Son and with me V ^Aad 
who art thou f he replied. ' I am,' said the most Blessed 
Virgin, for she it was,' I am the Mother of Mercy : thou 
hast so many tunes invoked me, behold, I am now come 
to take thee ; let us go together to Paradise.' On the 
same day Leonard died, and, as we trust, followed ber 
to the kmgdom of the blessed. 

'Ah, most sweet Mary !' exclaimed the venerable 
brother John Berchmans, of the Society of Jesii% 
' blessed is he who loves thee ! If I love Mary, I am cer- 
ain of perseverance, and shall obtain whatever I wish 
from God.' Therefore the devout youth was never tired 

* FMlto. *. . .ioTenltnr ab hit <mi qnnrani niam.— iSEii^ Tt 111 
** Ego dUigentet me diligo.— Proo. TiiL 17. 

■*/« 8ahe Rtg. •. L 

* iDTMtA Viighie KarU, inreDllar omne booum ; 1 

" M^ Immo fibl jarritBttbot Mnrii— ^2>( CbntaiyJi lrw$»i 

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of renewing his resolation, and of repeating often to him' 
self: ' I will love Mary j I will love Mary.' O, how 
much does the love of this good Mother exoeed that of 
all her children ! Let them love her as much as they 
will, Mary is always amongst lovers the most loving* 
Let them love her like a St. Stanislaus Kostka, who 
loved this dear mother so tenderly, that in speaking 
of her he moved all who heaid him to love her : he 
had made new words and new titles with which to honor 
her name. He never did any thing without first tam- 
ing to her image to ask her blessing. When he sidd 
her office, the Bosary, or other prayers, he did so with 
the same external marks of affection as he would have 
done had he been speaking face to face with Mary ; 
when the Salve Begina was sung, his whole soul, and 
even his whole countenance, was all inflamed with love. 
On being one dav asked by a father of the Society who 
was going with him to visit a picture of the Blessed 
Virgm, how much he loved Mary, — 'Father,' here- 
plied, ' what more can I say t she is my mother.' ' But,' 
adds the father, * the holy youth uttered these words 
with such tenderness in his voice, with such an expres- 
sion of countenance, and at the same time it came so fully 
from his heart, that it no longer seemed to be a young 
man, but rather an angel speaking of the love of 

Let us love her Uke a blessed Hermann, who called 
ker the spouse of his love, for he was honored by Maiy 
herself with this same title. Let us love her like a St. 
Philip Neri, who was filled with consolation at the 
mere thought of Mary, and therefore called her his de- 
light. Let us love her like a St. Bonaventure, who 
ealled her not only his Lady and Mother, but to show 
the. tenderness of his affection, even called h^ his heart 
aud soul : ' Hail, my Lady, my Mother j nay, even my 
hearty my soul ! ^ Let us love her Uke that great 

*A^I>oailiiaiiMA;iiiftterB«i,taMMr ■ibm «I mImi mm^-JHa 

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krer of Mary, who loved this Ids sweet Mother so 
moch that he called her the ravisher of hearts ; ^ and to 
express the ardent love he bore her, added : ' for hast 
then not ravished my heart, Queen 1'^ Let us call 
her beloved, like a St. Bernardino of Sienna^ who 
daily went to visit a devotional picture of Mary, and 
there, in tender colloquies with his Queen, declared his 
love ; and when asked where he went each day, he re- 
plied that he went to visit his beloved. Let us love her 
like a St. Aloynus Gonzaga, whose love for Mary burnt 
■0 unceasingly, that whenever he heard the sweetest 
name of his Mother mentioned, his heart was instantly 
inflamed, and his countenance lighted up with a fire 
that was visible to all. Let ns love her like a St 
Francis Solano, who, maddened as it were, (but with 
a holy madness) with love for Mary, would sing before 
her picture, and accompany himself on a musical in- 
strument, saying, that like worldly lovers, he serenaded 
his most sweet Queen. 

Finally, let us love her as so many of her servants 
have loved her, who never could do enough to show 
their love. Father Jeroite of Texo, of the Society of 
Jesus, rejoiced in the name of slave of Mary } and as 
a mark of servitude, went often to visit her in some 
church dedicated in her honour. On reaching the church 
he poured out abundant tears of tenderness and love 
for Mary ; then, prostrating, he licked and rubbed 
the pavement with his tongue and fEice, kissing it a 
thousand times, because it was the house of ms be- 
loved Lady. Father Diego Martinez, of the same So 
dety, who for his devotion for our blessed Lady on 
her feasts was carried by angels to Heaven to see how 
they were kept there, used to say, ^ Would that I 
had the hearts of all angels and saints, to love Mair 
as they love her — would that I had the lives of all 
meui tp give thefn all for her love ! ' O that othen 

>* O nptrtz eofdiom 1—15. 

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would come to love Iier aa did Gharles the son cf St 
Bridget, who said that nothing in the world consoled 
him so mach as the knowledge that Mary was so great- 
ly loved by God. And he added, that he would wil 
lingly endure every torment rather than aUaw Mary 
to lose the smallest degree of her glory, were such a 
thing possible ; and that if her glory was his, he would 
renounce it in her favor, as being far more worthy <if 
it Let us moreover desire to lay down our lives as a 
testimony of our love for Mary, as Alphonsus Eodri- 
guez desired it. Let us love her as did those who 
even cut the beloved name of Manr on their breasts 
with sharp instruments, as a Francis Binanzio and a 
Badagundis, wife of king Glothaire, or as did those 
who could imprint this loved name on their flesh with 
hot irons, in order that it might remain more distinct 
and lasting, as did her devout servants Baptist Arch- 
into and Augustine d'Espinosa, both of the Society of 
Jesus, driven thereto by the vehemence of their love. 
Let us, in fine, do or desire to do all that it is pos* 
able for a lover to do, who intends to make his affec- 
tion known to the person loved. For be assured 
that the lovers of Mary will never be able to equal her 
in love. ' I know, Lady,' says St. Peter Damian, * that 
thou art most loving, and that thou lovest us with an 
invincible love.' * I know, my Lady that among those 
that love thee thou lovest the most, and. that thou lovest 
US with a love that can never be surpassed. The blessed 
Alphonsus Rodriguez, of the Society of Jesus, once pro- 
Btiate before an image of Mary, felt his heart inflamed 
with love towards this most Holy Virgin, and burst forth 
bto the following exclamation : ' My most beloved 
Mother, I know that thou lovest me, but thou dost not 
love me as much as I love thee.' Mary, as it were 
offended and piqued on the point of love, immediately 
replied from the image: ' What dost thou say Alphonsus 
^-what dost thou say! O, how much greater is the 

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HAIL^ fiOlY Qtmsir, HOTfiEB Ot idfiBOT. 41 

loYO that I bear thee, than any love that thou oanst 
have for me ! Know that the distance between heaven 
and earth is not so great afi the distance between thy 
love and mine/ 

St Bonaventore, then^ was right in exclaiming: 
Blessed are they who have the good fortune to be fsdthM 
pervants and lovers of this most loving Mother. 'Blessed 
are the hearts of those who love Manr | blessed are 
they who are tenderly devoted to her.'^ Yes ; for *in 
this straggle our most gracioos Queen never allows her 
clients to conquer her m love. She returns our love 
and homa^; and always increases her past favours by 
new ones.^ Mary, imitating in this our most loving 
Bedeemer Jesus Christ, returns to those who love her 
their love doubled in benefits and favours. Then will 
I exclaim, with the enamoured St. Anselm, ' May my 
heart languish and my soul melt and be consumed with 
your love, my beloved Saviour Jesus, and my dear 
Mother Mary ! But, as without your grace I cannot 
love you, grant me, O Jesus and Mary, grant my soul, 
by your merits and not mine, the grace to love you as 
you deserve to be loved. O God, lover of men, thou 
couldst love guilty mea even unto death. And canst 
thou deny Thy love and that of Thy. Mother to those 
who ask itP 


Father Auriemma^ relates that their was a certain 
poor shepherdess, whose sole delight was to go to a little 
ohapel of our Blessed Lady, situated on a mountain, and 

** B«ati qnonim oorda te diligont, Virgo Maria.— J« P», xxtL de B, T. 
Btati qai devote ei fomulantor. — In Ps. czriii. de B. V, 

" Namquam tamen in hoc ezimio oertamine a nobis ipia rinoetur. Et- 
•nim et amorem et honorem redhibet, et pneterita benenoia novis Mmper 
miAViget.—'PacciuchelH in Ps. Izzxri. Exit 2. 

** Veetro oontinuo amore langaeat cor meom : liqnefiant onmiaoMamea.. 
Date itaqne piiisimi, date, obseoro, sapplicand aninue mea, non proptw 
meritam meam, sed propter meritom Tettrom, date iUi qnanto dignl eetia, 

•morem Tectram O amator et misexator hiwninnm, ta potuisti reoataoaal 

mqne ad mortem amare : et poterif ta rogantl amorem tai et matrit 100 
■Mrarat— /» Bepr, IL od B. F. 

• 4f<IM iStoomd. tom. fi. e. a 

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42 HAIL, fiotit qmass, u(yisxk ot icssct. 

there, whilst her flocks browsed, converse with ftnd 
honour her dear Mother. Seeing that the little image of 
Mary (which was carved in relief) was unadorned, she 
set to work to make her a mantle ; and one day, having 
gathered a few flowers in the fields, she made a garland, 
and climbing on the altar •f the little chapel, placed it 
on the head of the image, saying^ 'My Mother, I wou)d 
place a crown of gold and precious stones on thy brow, 
but, as I am poor, receive this crown of flowers, and 
accept it as a mark of the love that I bear thee.' With 
this and other acts of homage, the pious maiden always 
endeavoured to serve and honour our beloved Lady. But 
let OS now see how the good Mother on her part recom- 
pensed the visits and the affection of her child. She fell 
ill, and was brought to the point of death. It so hap- 
pened that two religious were passing that way, and, 
fatigued with their journey, sat down under a tree to rest : 
one fell asleep, and the other remained awake } but both 
had the same vision. They Baw a troop of most beautiful 
ladies, and amongst these was one who in beauty and 
maiesty far surpassed them all. One of the religionB 
addressed himself to her : ^ Lady, who art thou, and 
where art thou going by these rugged ways f I am ' she 
replied, ' the Mother of God, and am going with these 
hoij virgins to a neighbouring cottage to visit a dyin^ 
shepherdess who has so often visited me.' Having said 
these words, all disappeared. At once these two good 
servants of Grod said , ^ Let us go also to see her.' They 
immediately started, and having found the cottage of m& 
dyinff virgin, they entered it and found her stretched on 
a little straw. They saluted her, and she said , ' Brothers, 
ask our Lord to let you see the company that is assisting 
me * They immediately knelt, and saw Maiy by the 
side of the dying girl^ holding a crown in her hand 
and consoling her. All at once the virgins began 
to sin^, and at the sound cf this sweet harmony 
her blessed soul left her body. Mary placed the 
crown on her head, and taking her sonl, led it iriA 
lierto Paradise. 

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O Lady ; O ravislier of hearts ! will I ezolaim with St 
Bonaventnre ;^ ' Ladj; who with the love and fayor 
thou sho west thy servants dost ravish their hearts, ravish 
also my miserable heart, which desires ardently to loTt 
thee. Then, my Mother, hast enamoured a Ood with thy 
beauty, and dniwn Him from heaven into thy chaste 
womb i and shall I live without loving thee f No, I will 
never rest until I am certain of having obtained thy 
love 'y but a constant and tender love towards thee, my 
Mother, who hast loved me with so much tenderness,'^ 
even when I was ungrateful towards thee. And what 
should I now be, O Mary, if thou hast not obtained so 
many mercies for me T Since, then, thou didst love me 
80 much when I loved thee not, how much more may I 
not now hope from thee, now that I love theet I love 
thee my Mother, and I would that I had a heart to love 
thee in place of all those unfortunate creatures who love 
thee not. I would that I could speak with a thousand 
tongues, that all might know thy greatness, thy holiness 
thy mercy, and the love with which thou lovest all who 
love thee. Had I riches, I would employ them all for thy 
honor. Had I subjects, I would ms^e them all thy 
lovers. In fine, if the occasion presented itself, I would 
lay down my life for thy glory. I love thee, then, O my 
Mother; but at the same time I fear that I do not love 
thee as I ought ; for I hear that love makes lovers like 
the person loved. If, then, I see myself so unlike thee, 
it is a mark that I do not love thee. Thou art so pure, 
and I defiled with many sins ; thou so humble, and I 
BO proud } thou so holy, and I so wicked. This, th^ 
is what thou hast to do, O Mary; since thou lovest me^ 
make me like thee. Thou hast all power to ohann 
hearts ; take, then, mine and change it. Show we 
world what thou canst do for those who love thee. 

* O Dondna, qvm rspli oordA.~/SKii». am. M§d. inSabHMtff, 
^NaaqiMiii qiii«Maai, dooM ImUhmio tiMioa r 
mmm llariMk— .B. Jokn Bt rthrn Q n t , A J, 

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Make me a saint; make me thy wor&y child. This 
if my hope. 

Sjbchov IV. Marif is the Mother qf penitent 8iimer$. 

Our Blessed Lady told St. Bridget that she was the 
Mother not only of the jost and innocent; bat also of 
fiinnerS; provided they were willing to repent.^ O how 

Srompt does a sinner (desirons of amendment, and who 
ies to her feet) find this good Mother to embrace and 
help him, for more so than any earthly mother f St. 
Ore^oiy the Seventh wrote in this sense to the princess 
Matilda, saying : ' Resolve to sin no more, and I promise 
that andpnbtedly thou wilt find Mary more ready to love 
thee than any earthly mother.'^ Bat whoever aspires to 
be a child of this great Mother, mast first abandon sin, 
and then may hope to be accepted as sach. Bichard of 
St. Lawrence, on the words of Proverbs, " up rose her 
children," remarks that first come *ap rose' and then 
children,^ to show that no one can be a child of Mary 
without first endeavoring to rise from the fault into 
which he has fallen ; for he who is in mortal sin is not 
worthy to be called the son of such a Mother.^ And St. 
Peter Ghiysologos says that he who acts in a different 
manner from Mary, declares thereby that he will not 
be her son. ^ He who does not the works of his Mother, 
hajares his lineage.'^ Mary humble, and he proud; 
Mary pure, and he wicked ; Mary full of love, and he 
bating his neighbor. He gives thereby proof that he 
is not, and wiU not be, the son of his Holy Mother. 
The sons of Mary, says Bichard of St Lawrence, are her 
imitators, and tins chiefly in three things; in ' chastity, 

> Ego «tiam <iiia8l ■am Hator omniam peooatoramToIentiimtM «B«Bdat«(i 
^JU9. Kb. It. o. 138. 

> FMM flMm in Tolnntate peccaodi, et inreniet Korlam CiBd«bttnlit 
fvomitto) pfomptioTMn oamali matre in toi dilaotlon*.— Xilk L «p. i7. 

* Snrrazeraut filU ejus.— iVov. zzxi. 28. 
^ Nm diffnoi eft, qui in mortali ptooato aiL Toeail flUoi 
^XMMLTilf^ Ub.iL e. S. 
J ^ gMitoiis MB ihoH 0ptni Bigal fMoa.— A 

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nxa^ fiOLT qxnssB, hothsb or uxBot. 4ft 

liberality; and bomility ; and also in meeknesd, meroj, 
and sach like.'^ And whilst disgusting her by a wicked 
life^ who woald dare even to wish to be the diild of 
Hfuy T A certdb sinner once said to Mary^ ' Show thy- 
•elf a Mother ;' but the Blessed Virgin replied, * Show 
thyself a son.'^ Another invoked the Divine Mother, 
calling her the Mother of mercy, and she answered : 
'You smners, when you want my help, call me Mother 
of mercy, and at the same time do not cease by your sins 
to make me a Mother of sorrows and anguish.'^ '^ He is 
cursed of God,'' says Ecclesiastes, '' that angereth his 
mother.''® 'That is Maiy,'^® says Richard of St 
Lawrence. Ood curses those who by itieir wicked life, 
and still more by their obstinacy in sin, afflict this 
tender Mother. 

I say, by their obstinacy; for if a sinner, though ha 
may not as yet have given up his sin, endeavours to do 
so, and for this purpose seeks the help of Mary, this 
good mother will not fail to assist him, and make him 
recover the grace of Grod. And this is precisely what St. 
Bridget heard one day from the lips of Jesus Christ, who, 
spei&ng to his Mother, said, 'Thou adsistest him who 
endeavours to return to God, and thy consolations are 
never wanting to anyone.'^ So long, then, as a sinner 
is obstinate, Mary cannot love him; but if he (finding 
himself chained by some passion which keeps him a 
slave of hell) recommends himself to the. Blessed Virgin, 
and implores her, with confidence and perseverance, to 
withdraw him from the state of sin in which he is, there 
can be no doubt but this good Mother will extend her 
powerful hand to him, will deliver him from his chains, 
and lead him to a state of salvation. The doctrine that 

• Filii «Jiu (VauAm), id est imitatores, mazhne in tribni, oattiteto, lai|l- 
teto, homilitata mansnetadine, miserioordia, et hi^osmodL — lb. 

'MoBstra te ease matrein monstia te Mse liliam.-^4P* •^**''* A^» 

Mmmb. p. 3, o. 19. 

• 4P. -Pea. iOett. lib. xii. p. ult 0, 7. 

• Eat maledictos a Deo qui ezasperat matrem.— ifoelL fiL 18. 
MMatrem, id Mt Hariam.— De Laud. B. M. lib. iL p. L 

^ Ooaanti aurgere ad Deam tribaia anxiUimi, •tatmiiMa itUnfolf flHk 
MB fk o«naolatii B« taa.— Lib. It. • Ift. 

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46 ttAtti, fiOLT QUBSITy UOTSSR OM MX&Ct. 

all prayers and works performed in a state of sin are 
sins was condemned as heretical by the sacred Gonad] 
of Trent.^ St. Bernard says,^^ that although prayer in 
the month of a sinner is devoid of beanty, on account 
of its being unaccompanied with charity, nevertheless it 
is useful, and obtains grace to abandon sin ; for, as St. 
Thomas teaches/* the prayer of a sinner, though without 
merit, is an act which obtains the grace of forgiveness, 
since the power of impetration is founded not on the 
merits of him who asks, but on the divine goodness, 
and the merits and promises of Jesus Ghrist, who has 
said, "Everyone that asketh receiveth.''^ The same 
thing must be said of prayers offered to the divine 
Mother. ' If he who prays,' says St. Anselm, *does not 
merit to be heard, the merits of the Mother, to whom 
he recommends hinuself, will intercede effectually.^ 
Therefore, St. Bernard exhorts all sinners to have re- 
course to Mary, invoking her with great confidence; for 
though the sinner does not himself merit the graces 
which he asks, yet he receives them, because this Blessed 
Virgin asks and obtains them from Ood, on account of 
her own merits. These are his words, addressing a 
sinner : ' Because thou wast unworthy to receive the 
grace thyself, it was given to, Maiy, in order tha^ 
through her, thou mightest receive all.'" *If a mother/ 
continues the same Saint, 'knew that her two sons bore 
a mortal enmity to one another, and that each plotted 
against the other's life, would she not exert herself to 
her utmost in order to reconcile them f This would be 
the duty of a good mother. And thus it is,' the Saint 
goes on to say, Hhat Mary acts; for she is the Mother 
of Jesus, and the Mother of men. When she sees a etn- 
ner at enmity with Jesus Christ, she cannot endmre it, 

tt Sefg. 6. ean. 7. 

a 2^2X0.8. 81. 

M2a, 2flB, qa. 178. a. 2. ad. 1. 

u Omnis enim qui petit, aooipit.— -Xtie. zL 10. 

^ Etsi merita mrocantis non mtrentnr, at ezaadiator, atdla ttmm 
Maitit intaroedant, at ezaadiatar.— JDe JBae, Virg,, e. tL 

V Qoia indiffnos eras, oai donaretar, datam ett ]Cari% vl p« IUmi «|il* 
pm qoloqold habwit.— «8irm. S. im Tig, IM, 

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and does all in her power to make peace between them 
O bappy Maiy, thoa art the Mother of the criminal^ 
and the Mother of the judge ; and being the Mother of 
both^ they are thy children, and thou canst not endure 
discords amongst them.'^^ This most benign Lady 
enly reqoires that the sinner should recommend himself 
to her, and purpose amendment. When Mary sees a 
sinner at her feet, imploring her mercy, she does not 
consider the crimes with which he is loaded, but th« 
intention with which he comes ; and if this is good, even 
should he have committed all possible sins ^ the most 
loving Mother embraces him, and does not disdain to 
heal the wounds of his soul ; for she is not only called 
the Mother of Mercy, but is so truly and indeed, and 
shows herself such by the love and tenderness with 
which she assists us all. And this is percisely what the 
Blessed Virgin herself said to St. Bridget : * However 
much a man sins, I am ready immediately to receive 
him when he repents ; nor do I pay attention to the 
number of his sins, but only to the intention with which 
he comes; I do not disdain to anoint and heal hia 
wounds ; for I am called, and truly am, the Mother 
of Mercy .'^ Mary is the Mother of sinners who wish 
to repent, and as a Mother she cannot do otherwise than 
compassionate them ; nay more, she seems to feel the 
miseries of her poor children as if they were her own. 
When the Canaanitish woman begged our Lord to deliver 
her daughter from the devil who possessed her, she said, 
^ Have mercy on Qie, O Lord, thou son of David, my 
daughter is greviously troubled by a deviL"* But 

» O Mix Mttfia, en mater rei, ta mater jndiols : onm lifl mater ntriofn^ 
diMordiae inter toot fllioe neqois foftiaera.-— Jimcl 8. Bomav, S^pm, B. r. 
leet 3. 

"Ego qnanttOMmnqne homo peoeat, ri ex toto ocnide et yem emendatioM 
•d me rerersai Aierit, statim paiata sum reoipere rerertentem. Neo atteade 
^pwomm peocayerit, ted com qaali intentioDe et yolontate redit. — Bev, L iL 
e. 98. Qaiounqae inyoeayerit me, ego non dedigoor tangere, et imgefe, et 
•aoare plagaa saM.-^Bev. L tL c 117. Ego vooor ab omnibot malei 
■dMif oordin, yere fllia, mieeriooidia FUi mei fecit me mlMiieocdem^—Jtak 

» MiMBera BMl DMBiae, fill Dayid ; ffiia OMa miOe ft < 

"^ *\ XT a. 

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nnoe tlie daugliter, and not the mother, was toi 
mentedy she should rather have said, 'Lord tak« 
eoripassion on my daughter:^ and not, Have mercy 
on me ) but no, she said : ' Have mercy on me, 
and was right ; for the sufferings of children 
are felt by their mother as if they were their own. 
And it is precisely thus, says Richard of St. Lawrence^ 
that Mary prays to God when she recommends a sinner 
to Him who luts had recourse to her ) she cries out for 
the sinful soul, 'Have mercy on me /^^ ' My Lord/ 
she seems to say, 'this poor soul that is in sin is my 
daughter, and therefore, pity not so much her^ as me, 
who am her Mother.' Would that all sinners 
had recourse to this sweet Mother! for then certainly 
all would be pardoned by Gx)d. 'O Mary,' exclaims 
St. Bonaventure, in rapturous astonishment^ 'thou 
embiacest with maternal affection a sinner despised by 
the whole world, nor dost thou leave him until thou 
hast reconciled the poor creature with his judge '^ 
meaning, that the sinner whilst, in the state of sin is 
hated and loathed by all, even by inanimate creatures ; 
fire, air, and earth would chastise him, and avenge the 
honour of their outraged Lord. But if this unhappy 
creature flies to Mary, will Mary reject him ! O, no : 
provided he goes to her for help, and in order to amend, 
she will embrace him with the affection of a mother, 
and will not let him go, until, by her powerful inter- 
cession, she has reconciled him with God, and reinstated 
him in grace. 

In the second book of Kings^ we read that a wise 
woman of Thecua addressed King David in the follow 
ing words : " My Lord, I had two sons, and for my 
misfortune, one killed the other ] so that I have now 
lost one, and justice demands the other, the only one 

^ QcuB olamat ad Deoin pro filia, !d est peocatrioe anima, ot^os etiam par- 
■onam miserioorditer in se tntnsformat, dioens, liiBerere mei, flli DavkL— 
Jh Laud. B. F. 1. vi. o. 9. 

*" Maria, ta peooatorem tot! mando defpeotnm matemo aflbota oomidaQl 
«!•, foret, neo deserii, qaooaque honuiao jndioi miitrnm noonoOteiu ^Jtk 
SficB. F.leetT. 

!• a Siff. •.>&?. 

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tihat 18 left ; take compassion on a poor mother and let 
me not be thns deprived of both." David, moved witfi 
compassion towards the mother, declared that the delin« 
qnent should be set at liberty and restored to her. Mary 
ieems to say the same thing when God is indignant 
against a sinner who has recommended himself to her. 
'My God/ she says, ' I had two sons, Jesus and man ; 
man t jok the life of my Jesus on the cross, and now Thy 
jufitice would condemn the guilty one. O Lord, my 
Jesus is already dead, have pity on me, and if I have 
lost the one, do not make me lose the other also.' And 
most certainly God will not condemn those sinners who 
have recourse to Mary, and for whom she prays, since 
He Himself commended them to her as her children 
The devout Lanspergius supposes our Lord speaking in 
the following terms : * I recommended all, but especially 
snners, to Mary, as her children, and therefore is she so 
diligent and so careful in the exercise of her office, thai 
she allows none of those committed to her charge, and 
especially those who invoke her, to perish ; but as far 
as she can, brings all to Me.'^ ' And who can ever tell,' 
says the devout Blosius, ' the goodness, the mercy, the 
compassion, the love, the benignity, the clemency, the 
fidefity, the benevolence, the charity, of this Virgin 
Mother towards men f It is such that no words can 
express it.'* *Let us, then,' says St. Bernard, * cast our- 
selves at the feet of this good Mother, and embracing 
them, let us not depart until she blesses us, and thus 
••ccepts us for her children.'^ And who can ever doubt 
the compassion of this Mother f St. Bonaventure used to 
fay, ' Even should she take my life, I would still hope 

** Miirto....<muiet, potteime antem peooatorM, In penona Jomdt la 

iliot oommendaTi Propterea adeo «ft diligeiu adeo tedula, at oflM, 

fao latMboiens, neminem eonun, quantam in se est, qui sibi oommiaii smit^ 
pnBoipae le ioYooantiam, perire sinat, fed, quantum valet, omnea mihi t— 
ducat— Lib. 1. AUoq. can. 12. 

*• HvAvm Vinrinii Matrii bonitas, miaeriooidia. pietas, amloitla, bmifnUai, 
•tomen^ fldeutaa, benevolentia, et oaritas erga hominea tanta ait, at nolUi 
Y«rbia ezplioari poaait— &u^ An. Fid. P. iii. e. 5. 

* Baatis illiua pe«Ubua prorolramai; 
<ww b a a ad L w rit »aMfc-Jt »§. Mugt^ 

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in ker ; and, full of oonfidenoe, would desire to die be 
fore her image, and be certain of salvation.'^ And timt 
should each sinner address her when he has recourse to 
ihis compassionate Mother : he should say, ' My Lady 
and Mother, on account of my sins I deserve that tho« 
shouldst reject me, and even that thou shouldst thyseil 
chastise me according to my deserts ; but shouldst thou 
reject me, or even take my life, I will still trust in thee^ 
and hope with a firm hope that thou wilt save me. In 
thee is all my confidence } only grant me the consolation 
of dying before thy picture, recommending myself to thy 
mercy, then I am convinced that I shall not be los^ 
but that I shall go and praise thee in heaven, in com- 
pany with so many of thy servants who left this world 
calling on thee for help, and have all been saved by thy 
powemil intercesfflon/ Bead the following example, 
and then say if any sinner can doubt of the mercy and 
love of this good Mother. 


"^Hncent of Beauvais relates, that, in an English city, 
about the year 1430, there was a young nobleman, called 
Erv^st, who, having distributed the whole of his patii- 
mopy to the poor, became a monk, and in the monaa- 
tery to which he retired led so perfect a life, that he 
was highly esteemed by his superiors, and this esteem 
was greatly increased by their knowledge of his tender 
devotion to the most Blessed Virgin. It happened that 
the city was attacked by the plague, and the inhabitantp 
had recourse to the monastery, in order that the religion! 
might help them by their prayers. The abbot com- 
manded Ernest to go and pray before the altar of Mary, 
forbidding him to leave it until he should have received 
an answer from our Blessed Lady. The young man, 
after remaining for three days in prayer, received an 
answer from Mary to the effect, that certain prayers 
were to be said : this was done, and the plague ceased. 

* Eiiuul oodd«rft me, fpembo in earn, ft totuf MofidMi Jate ^m lam 

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HAiLy HOLT qmasj uvtexr or hxsoi. , 53 

After a thne Ernest cooled in his devotion towards 
Mary : the devil attacked him with many temptationS| 
and particolarlj with those against parity, and also to 
leave his monastery. From not having recommended 
himself to Maiy, he nnfortonately vielded to the temp- 
tation, and resolved to escape by (uimbing over a wall. 
Passing before an image of Mary which was in the cor* 
lidor, me Mother of God addressed him, saying, ' Bf T 
son, why dost thou leave me V Ernest, thuiiderstnickfr 
and repentant, sank to the ^onnd, and replied, ^ But/ 
Lady, dost thon not see that I can no longer resist, whyji 
dost dion not assist me f ' And why hast thou not in- 
voked mof said onr Blessed Lady. ' If thon hadst re- 
ecmimended thyself to me, thon wonldst not have feillen 
00 low^ bat fix)m henceforth do so, and fear nothing. ' 
Ernest returned to his cell ; his temptations recom* 
menced ; again he ne^ectodJo recommend himself to 
Mary, and at last fied from his monastery. He then 
gave himself np to a most wicked life, fell from one un 
into another, and at length became an aogasan; for 
havmg hired an inn, daring the night he useS^o mar- 
der the poor travellers who slept there. Amongst 
others, he one night killed the consin of the governor 
of the place. For this crime he was tried and sentenced 
to death. It so happened that before he was made a 
prisoner, and whilst evidence was being collected, a 
yonng nobleman arrived at the inn. The wicked Er- 
aest^ as usnal, determined to morder him, and entered 
the room at night for this purpose— bat, lo, instead of 
finding the young man, he beheld a crucifix on the bed, 
aU covered with wounds. The image cast a look of 
ecnnpassion on him, and exclaimed, ^ ungrateful wretch ! 
fe it not enough that I have died once for thee f Wilt 
tho^again ta^e my life f Be it so. Raise thy hand, 
«-«trike V Filled with confusion, poor Ernest began 
to weep, and sobbing, said, 'Behold me. Lord ; since 
thon sbowest me such mercy, I will retnm to thee. 
Immediately he left the inn to return to his monastery* 
tlMtata do penance for his crimes I bat on the road ha 

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was taken by the ministeis of jnstioey was led before 
the jadge, and aeknowledgod all the mnrdeiB be had 
committed. He was sentenced to be bnng, witboat 
having even the time given him to go to confession. 
He recommended himself to Mary, and was thrown 
from the ladder ; but the Blessed Virgin preserved hit 
life, and she herself loosened the rope, and then ad- 
dressed him, saying, 'Go, return to thy monastery, do 
penance, and when thou seest a paper in my hands, 
announcing the pardon of thy sins, prepare for death. 
Ernest returned, related all to his abbot, and did great 
penance. After many year:), he saw the paper in the 
hands of Mary, which announced his pardon j he im- 
mediately prepared for death, and' in the most holy 
manner breathed forth his soul. 


O my sovereign Queen and worthy Mother of my God, 
most holy Mary ^ I, seeing myself, as I do, so despicable 
and loaded with so many sins, ought not to presume to 
call Ihee Mother, or even to approach thee ; yet I will 
not allow my miseries to deprive me of the consolatioB 
and confidence that I feel in calling thee mother; I 
know well that I deserve that thou shouldst reject me ; 
but I beseech thee to remember all that thy son Jesus 
has endured for me, and then reject me if thou oGmst 
I am a wretched sinner, who, more than all others, 
have despised the infinite majesty of God : but the evil 
is done. To thee have I recourse } thou canst help me ; 
my mother, help me. Say not that thou canst not do 
10 ; for I know that thou art all-powerful, and that 
thou obtainest whatever thou desirest of God } and if 
thou sayest that thou wilt not help me, tell me at least 
to whom 1 can apply in this my so great misfortune. 

* Eitherpity me,* will I say, with tne devout St. Anselm, 

* Oiny Jesus, and forgive me, and do thou pity me, my 
Mother Mary, by interceding for me, or at least tell me 
to whom I can have recourse, who is more compaa- 
monaiep or in whom I oan have £reater confidenoe 

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th^ in thee.'^ 0, no ^ neither on eartli nor in beayen 
can I find any one who has more compassion for the 
miserable, or who is better able to assist me, than 
thou canst, Mary. Thou, O Jesus, art my Father, 
and thou, Mary, art my Mother. You both love the 
most miserable, and go seeking them in order to eave 
them. I deserve heU, and am the most miserable of 
aU. But you need not seek me, nor do I presume to 
ask so much. I now present myself before you with 
a certain hope that I shall not be abandoned. Behold 
me at your feet ; my Jesus, forghre me ; my Mother 
Mary, help me. 

* Ant miwremini ndierl, ta paiocndo, ta int«nraiil«ido, i 
•not tatha tagiam miserioofdioret ; •! ■lonttntok ia aaUmt 
folMtfaiw f-Ai D(«ir. JL 4Ml A r. 

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BxcmoK I. Mary is our Life, because she dbtalm m 
the Far don of our Sins, 

To understand why the holy Church makes us call 
Mary our life, we' must know, that as the soul gives 
life to the body, so does Divine grace give life to the 
soul J for a soul without grace has the name of being 
alive, but is in truth dead, as it was said of one in 
the Apocalypse, " Thou hast the name of being alive, 
and thou art dead.''' Mary, then, in obtaining this 
grace for sinners by her Intercession, thus restores them 
to life. See how the Church makes her speak, apply- 
ing to her the following words of Proverbs : " They 
that in the morning early watch for me shall find me.''* 
They who are diligent in having recourse to me in the 
morning, that is, as soon as they can, will most cer- 
tainly find me. In the Septuagint the words " shall 
find me ^ are rendered " shall find grace." So that tc 
have recourse to Mary is the same thing as to find the 
grace of God. A little further on she says, " He that 
shall find me shall find life, and shall have salvation 
from the Lord."' ' Listen,' exclaims St. Bonaventure 
on these words, 'listen, all you who desire the kingdom 

* HoBMn babes quod TiTas, et mortQas et.— ^poe. UL L 

' Qni mane vigUant ad me, inYenient me. — Prov. yiii. 17. 

' Qni me iiiTenerit inveniet Titam, el bawriet salatem a Pombi9»— ^^«» 

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of God : tonour the most Blessed Virgin Mary, and you 
will find life and eternal salvation.''* 

St Bemardine of Sienna says, that if God did not 
destroy man after bis first sin, it was on account of 
His singular love for this holy Virgin, who was destined 
to be bom of this race. And the Saint adds, ' that he 
has no doubt but that all the mercies gianted by God 
nndei the old dispensation were granted only in coh- 
rideration of this most Blessed Lady.'* Hence St. Ber- 
nard was right in exhorting us ' to seek for grace, and 
to seek it by Mary j'** meaning, that if we have had the 
misfortune to lose the grace of God, we should seek to 
recover it, but we should do so by Mary ; for though we 
may have lost it, she has found it ; and hence the Saint 
calls her 'the finder of grace.'' The angel Gabriel ex- 
pressly declared this for our consolation, when he saluted 
the Blessed Virgin saying, " Fear not, Mary, thou hast 
found grace.'*® But if Mary had never been deprived 
of grace, how could the archangel say that she had then 
found it ? A thing may be found by a person who did 
not previously possess it j but we are told by the same 
archangel that the Blessed Virgin was always with God, 
always in grace, nay, full of grace. " Hail, full of grace 
the Lord is with thee."9 Since Mary, then, did not find 
grace for herself, she being always full of it, for whom 
did she find it ? Cardinal Hugo, in his commentary on 
the above text, replies that she found it for sinners who 
had lost it. ' Let sinners, then,' says this devout writer, 
' who by their crimes have lost grace, address themselves 
to the Blessed Virgin , for with her they will surely 
find it ; let them humbly salute her, and say with con- 
fidence, ' Lady, that which has been found must be re- 

* Aadlto qni ingredi cnpitis regnnm Dei ; Virgiuem Mariam honoimto, 

•t hivenietif Yitam et salntem perpetuam. — In Ps zlviii B. I . 

* Onnes libertationes et tndulgentiaa factas in Veteri Tentamento, noa 
•mbigo Deam, fecisse propter bujiis benedictae puellae reverentiam etftBtoreoi 
—Tom. iv. Sertn. 5, de B. V.^. 2. 

* QoflBramns gratiam, et per Mariam qcueramaa. — Serm. de AfiMfd. 

* Inventriz gratiae. De Adv. D. Serm. 2. 

' Ne timeas, Maria ; invenisti enim gratiam.— Z«4C L 90. 

* Aft gfltla pl«»« ; Doaiiaua t«cam.~Xi4C L 9t. 

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stored, to him who has lost it; restore us therefore, on: 
property which thou hast ^und.'^® On this subject, 
Kichard of St. Lawrence concludes, ' that if we hope 
to recover the grace of God, we must go to Mary, who 
has found it, and finds it always."^ And as she always 
was and always will be dear to God, if we have recourse 
to her, we shall certainly succeed. Again, Mary says, 
ic the eighth chapter of the sacred Canticles, that God 
has placed her in the world to be our defence : " I am 
a wall : and my breasts are as a tower." And she is 
truly made a mediatress of peace between sinners and 
God : ** Since I am become in His presence as one find- 
ing peace."^ On these words St. Bernard encourages 
sinners, saying, ' Go to this Mother of Mercy, and show 
her the wounds which thy sins have left on thy soul 
then will she certainly entreat her Son, by the breasts 
that gave him suck, to pardon thee all. And this 
Divine Son, who loves her so tenderly, will most cer- 
tainly grant her petition.'^^ In this sense it is that the 
holy Church, in her almost daily prayer, calls upon us 
to beg our Lord to grant us the powerful help of the 
intercession of Mary to rise from our sins : ' Grant thy 
help to our weakness, most merciful God ; and that 
we, who are mindful of the holy Mother of God, may 
by the help of her intercession rise j&rom our iniquities." 
With reason, then, does St. Lawrence Justinian call her 
* the hope of malefactors f^^ since she alone is the one 
who obtains them pardon from God, With reason does 
St. Bernard call her Hhe si nners^ la dder ;^^^ since she, 

>** Carrant !gitar pecoatores ad Virginem, qai graliam amiseniDt peocando^ 
•t earn invenieDt apud earn hamUiter salutando, et secure dioant^ Bed(^ 
nobis rem nostram, quam invenisti. — In cap. i. Imc, 

1* Cupientes invenire gratiam, qosBramus inyentrioem gratisB, Mariam, 
qose, quia semper invenit, frustrari non potent — De Laud. F. 1. ii, o. 5. 

^ Ego murus : et ubera mea siout turris, ex quo facta sum conun eo 
quasi paeem reperiens. — Cant, yiii 10. 

13 Vade ad Matrem misericordise. et oetende illi tuorum plagas iteocato- 
ram ; et ilia ostendet pro te ubera. Exaudiet utique matrem filius. T 

^* Concede', misericors Deus, fragilitati nostra prsesidium ; at qai laneta 
Dei Gtonitricis memoriam agimns, interoessionis ejus aoxilio a no^rit Uik|ai< 
latibus resurgamus. 

u Delinquentiam sper-^erm. de NoL F. M. 

>* P«ooatoram soaU.— X>t Aqfmd» 

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Otm LlfSy OtTB 8WSSTlJrK86. M 

^e most compassiona4;e Queen, extending hei OAnd to 
them, draws tnem from an abyss of sin, and enables 
them to ascaid to God. With reason does an ancient 
writer call her Hhe only hope of sinners j' for by her 
help alone can we hope for the remission of onr sins." 
St. John Gbrysostom also says ' that sinners reoeive 
pardon by the intercession of Mary alone.'" And there- 
fore the Saint, in the name of all sinners, thus addressee 
her : ' Hail Mother' of God and of us all, * heaven, 
where God dwells, ' throne,' from irhich our Lord dis- 
penses all grace, ' fair daughter. Virgin, honor, glory, 
and firmament of our Church, assiduously pray to Jesus 
tnat in the day of judgment we may find mercy through 
thee, and receive the reward prepared by God for those 
who love Him.'^* 

With reason, finally, is Mary called, in the words of 
tne sacred Canticles, the Dawn ; " Who is she that Com- 
eth forth as the morning rising 1^^ Yes says Pope Inno- 
cent ; ' for as the dawn is the end of night, and the be- 
ginning of day, well may the Blessed Virgin Mary, who 
was the end of vices, be called the dawn of day."' 
When devotion towards Mary begins in a soul, it pro- 
duces the same effect that the birth of this most Holy 
Virgin produced in the world. It puts an end to the 
night of sin, and leads the soul into the path of virtue. 
Therefore, St. Germanus says, ^ Mother of God, thy 
protection never ceases, thy intercesssion is life, and thy 
patronage never fails.'^ And in a sermon, the same 
Saint says, that to pronounce the name of Mary with 

^ Ta es spes anioa peooatornm, quia per te speramns yeniam omniaa 
deliotoram. — 2nt op. S. Augtutini, Strm. oxoiv. ae Sanctis. 

" Per banc et pecoatoram veniam conseqaimur. — S. Joan. Chrysott. ap, 
Metaph. Brtv. Rom. in Off. Nat. B. M. die 5. 

!• Ave igitur, Mater, Ccelum, Paella, Virgo, Thronus, EcclesisB nostne 
deouf, gloria, et firmamentam ; assidue pro nobis precare Jesnm, ut per ta 
misericordiam invenire in die judioii. et qu» reposita sunt iis, qui diligunt 
Deum, bona oossequi possimus — ^76. 

*" Qa» est istE), qua prc^^reditnr qaasi aurora consurgensf — Cant. y\. 9. 

^ Cum Aurora sit finis noctis, et origo diei, merito per auroram designa- 
tor Virgo Maria, qusB finis damnatioms et origo salutis taM.-^Stm, £ A 
A»9. B. F. 

** Adhuo tuom viget pmridium ; et yita toa est interoesidc taomfai 
^u^oain defidt patrooiniom. — In Doim. Dei 0«n, Orat, ii. 

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affection is a sign of life in the soul, or at least that life 
will soon return there. 

We read in the Gospel of St. Luke, that Mary said, 
'^Behold from henceforth all generations shall call me 
blessed."^ ' Yes, my lady,' excaims St. Bernard, 'all 
generations shall call thee blessed, for thou hast begot- 
ten life and glory for all generations of men.'^For tiiii 
cause all men shall call thee blessed, for all thy servant! 
obtain ti rough thee the life of grace and eternal glory. 
' In thee do sinners find pardon, and the just persever- 
ance and eternal life.'^ ' Distrust not, sinner,' says the 
devout Bernardino de Busto, 'even if thou hast com- 
mitted all possible sins : go with confidence to this most 
glorious Lady, and thou wilt find her hands filled 
with mercy and bounty.' And, he adds, for ' she desires 
more to do thee good than thou canst desire to receive 
favours from her.'^ 

St. Andrew of Crete calls Mary the pledge of Divine 
mercy f^ meaning that, when sinners have recourse to 
Mary, that they may be reconciled with God, He as- 
sures them of pardon and gives them a pledge of it j 
and this pledge is Mary, whom he has bestowed upon 
us for our advocate, and by whose intercession (in virtue 
of the merits of Jesus Christ) God forgives all who have ^ 
recourse to her. St. Bridget heard an angel say, that the 
holy Prophets rejoiced in knoA^dng that God, by the 
humility and purity of Mary, was to be reconciled with 
sinners, and to receive those who had offended Him to 
favour. 'They exulted, foreknowing that our Lord 
Himself would be appeased by thy humility and the 

" Ecoe enim ex hoc beatain me dicent omnes generationes. — Iaic^ L 48. 

** Ex hoc beatam te dicent omnM generationet, qas omnibus genez» 
tionibo* vitam et gloriam, genuisti. — Serm. 2. in PenUc 

* In te Justi gratiam, pecoatorea veniam, invenenmt in nternom.— iSerM. 
2. in PemUc 

^ O.. pecoator, bonam novum ; o peccatrix, optmium novom, nun dilB* 
das, non desperes, etiamsi commisisn omnia peccata enormia: sed confl* 
denter et secure ad islam gloriosissimam Dominam recurrat. Invenie* eniai 
earn in manibus plenam carialitate, pietate, misericordia, gratiotitate, «l 
largitate. Plui enim desiderat ipsa facere tibi bunum, et largiri aliqa«a 
fnUiam, quam tu aocinere ooncupiscas.— JIforwU. P. iL jSerm. 5. at NatB, F. 

^ P«r earn nobis ob# .-iota sunt salatit pignora —In B. F, M^ Dmrm, Bmm, % 

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Otm Um, OTTlt SWBSTKfiSS. 69 

purity of thy life, O Mary, thoQ 8aper-effalg«nt star, 
and that He would be reconciled with those who had 
provoked His wrath.** 

No sinner, having recoorse to. the compassion of 
Mary, should fear being rejected ', for she is the Mother 
of Merc3^ and as such desires to save the most miser- 
able. Mary is that happy ark, says St. Bernard, ^ in 
which those who take refuge will never suffer the ship* 
wreck of eternal perdition.' ^ At the time of the deluge 
even brutes were saved in Noah's ark. Under tne 
mantle of Mary even sinners obtain salvation. St. 
Grertrude once saw Mary with her mantle extended, and 
under it many wild beasts — ^lions, bears, and tigers,^ 
had taken refuge } ^ And she remarked that Mary not 
only did not reject, but even welcomed and caressed 
them with the greatest tenderness. The Saint under- 
stood hereby that the most abandoned sinners who have 
recourse to Mary are not only not rejected, but that 
they are welcomed and saved by her from eternal death. 
Let US, then, enter this ark, let us take refuge under 
the mantle of Mary, and she most certainly will not 
reject us, but will secure our salvation. - 


Father Bovio'* relates that there was a wicked wo- 
man, named Ellen, who entered a church, and by chance 
heard a sermon on the Rosary. On leaving the church 
she purchased a set of beads, but wore them concealed, 
as she did not wish it to be known that she had them. 
She began to recite thero, and though she did so with- 
out devotion, our most Blessed Lady poured such sweet- 
ness and consolation into her soul during the whole 

* Eznltabant autem pnenosoentes, qaod Ipse legum Dictator «t DoralmH 
tz toa hnmilitate, et tcue vitae puritate, o Maria Stella praftilgida, plaoare- 
taT; et quod reciperet eos in saam gratiam.qoi ipsom ad iram provooat enuiL— 
Merm. Ang. eap. ix. 

* Siout enim per iUam (arcam) oxnnes eTasennt dilaTinm, sie ptv Mm 
pMoati naafirai^ain.— <San». de B, Maria, 

•• Inrin. '. It. o. f 0. 

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Hme, that she oould not cease repeating the H&il Masys. 
At length she was filled with gach a horror for her 
wicked life, that she no longer coald find repose, and 
was obliged to go to confession ; and sue accomplished 
this duty with snch contrition, that the priest was filled 
with astonishment. After her confession, she went to 
the foot of an altar of the most Blessed Virgin, and thercj 
as a thanksgiving to her advocate, said the Bosaiy. 
The Divine Mother then addressed her from the Image 
in the following words : * Ellen, thou hast already 
offended God and me too much ; from this moment 
change thy life, and I will bestow a large ^bare of my 
graces upon thee.' The poor sinner, in the deep^t 
confusion, replied : ' Ah ! most Holy Virgin, it is true 
that hitherto I have been a wicked sinner ; but thoa 
canst do all, help td^ - on my part I abandon myself to 
thee, and will spend the whole remainder of my life in 
doing penance for my sins/ With the assistance of 
Mary, she distributed all her goods to the poor, and 
began a life of rigorous mortification. She was tor- 
mented with dreadful temptations, but constantly re- 
commended herself to the Mother of God, and thus was 
always victorious. She was favoured with many extra- 
ordinary graces, with visions, revelations, and even the 
gift of prophecy. Finally, before her death, which was 
announced to her by Mary some days before it took 
place, the most Blessed Virgin came herself, with her 
Divine Son, to visit her : and when she expired, ber 
Boul was seen flying towards heaven in the form of m 
beautifol dove. 


Behold, O Mother of my God, my only hope, Maiy, 
behold at ihj feet a miserable sinner, who asks thee fol 
mercy. Thou art proclaimed and called by the whole 
Church, and by all the faithful, the refu^ of onnera. 
Thou art consequently my refc^, thou hast to save 
mo. Thou knowesty most sweet Mother of Gk)d, how 

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mocli thy Blessed Son desires our salvation. " Tlioa. 
knowest all that Jesus Christ endured for thi^ ei d. I 
j»resent thee, O'my Mother, the sufferings of Jesus; the 
w)ld He endured in the stable, His journey into Egypt, 
His toils, His sweat, the blood He shed ; the anguish 
which caused His death on tl e cross, and of which thou 
waat thyself a witness. 0, chow that thou lovest thy 
beloved Son^ and by this love I implore theo to assist 
me. Extend thy hand to a poor creature who has fallen, 
and asks thy help. Were I a saint, I need not seek 
thy mercy ; but because I am a sinner, I fly to thee, 
who art the Mother of Mercies. I know that thy com- 
passionate heart finds its consolation in assisting the 
miserable, -when thou canst do so, and dost not find 
ihem obstinate. Console, then, thy compassionate heart, 
and console me this day ; for now thou hast the oppor- 
tunity of saving a poor creature condemned to hell ; and 
thou can^t do so, for I will not be obstinate. I abandon 
myself into thy nands, only tell me what thou wouldsi 
have me to do, and obtain me strength to execute it, foi 
I am resolved to do all that depends on me to recover 
the Divine Grace. I take refuge under thy mantle. 
Jesus wills that I should have recourse to theo, in order 
not only that His blood may save me, but also that thy 
prayers may assist me in this great work ; for thy glory, 
and for His own, since thou art His Mother. He sends 
me to thee, that thou mayst help me. O Mary, see, I 
have recourse to thee ; in thee do I confide. Thou pray 
est for so many others, pray also for me ; say only a word. 
Tell our Lord that thou wiliest my salvation, and Grod 
will certainly save me. Say that I am thine, and then 
I have obtained all that I ask, all that I desire. 

■Tii....Mff InklitliDa Dei Ifa'er, soimv <iBnM aageloi vt homlflik 
Mitt fMntaa pUi«««t b«u«Uol» FIto 4io mIui Mftitt.* OwAMmh 
Ehel, Di9. (SIX f rUi. 

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€$ 6tTB LlFfi, OtTR' SWEETNESS. 

Sbctiok II Mary is also our lAJky because she dbtaim 
us Perseverance, 

Final perseverance is so great a gift of God, that fas 
it was declared by tlie Holy Council of Trent) it is quite 
gratuitous on His part, and we cannot merit it. Yet we 
are told by Saint Augustine, that all who seek for it 
obtain it from God ; and, according to Father Suarez^ 
they obtain it infallibly, if only they are diligent in 
asking for it to the end of their lives. For, as Bellamiin 
well remarks, ^that which is daily required must be 
asked for every day.'^ Now, if it is true (and I hold 
it as certain, according to the now generally received 
opinion, and which I shall prove in the fourth chapter 
of this work) that all the graces that God dispenses to 
men pass by the hands of Mary, it will be equally true 
that it is only through Mary that we can hope for this 
greatest of all graces, — perseverance. And we shall 
obtain it most certainly, if we always seek it with con- 
fidence through Mary. This grace she herself promises 
to all who serve her faithfully during life, in the fol- 
lowing words of Ecclesiasticus ; and which are applied 
to her by the Church, on the Feast of her Immaculate 
Conception ; " They that work by me shall not sin. 
They that explain me shall have life everlasting. " * 

In order that we may be preserved in the life of 
grace, we require spiritual fortitude to resist the many 
enemies of our salvation. Now this fortitude can be 
obtained only by the means of Maiy, and we are assured 
of it in the book of Proverbs, for the Church applies 
the passage to this most Blessed Virgin. " Strength 
is mine ; by me kings reign. '' ^ Meaning, by the words 
^ strength is mine, '' that God has bestowed this precious 

' QMlidle petenda est, at qaotidie obtlneatur. r 

* Qui operantar in me, non peccabunt. Qui eloeldaBt mm, Titamatonui 
hMhebnni.—EccUs. xziv. Sa 31. 

* Mea est fortitudo. Per me reges reffnant* -Frm -fiS 14, 1& Xnfu^ 

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OU-R LtFK, Otm SWEETEN J:gd. 69 

rift on Mary,in order that she may dispense H to her 
bithfal clients. And b}' the words, *' By me kingi 
reign, ^ she signifies that hy her means her servant! 
reign over and comii^and their senses and passions, anu 
thus become worthy to reign eternally in heaven. 0| 
what strength do the servants of this great Lady po»- 
•ess, to overcome all the assaults of hell ! Maiy is thai 
tower spoken of in the sacred Canticles : " Thy neck it 
as the tower of David, which is built with bulwarks ; 
a thousand bucklers hang upon it, all the annonr of 
valiant men."* She is as a well-defended fortress in 
defence of her lovers, who in their wars have recourse 
to her. In her do her clients find all sldelds and annSy 
to defend themselves against hell. 

And for the same reason the most Blesssd Virjrin ia 
called a plane-tree in the words of Ecclesiasticus r Asa 
plane-tree by the water in the streets was I exalted.*** 
Cardinal Hugo explains them, and says that the ' plane- 
tree has leaves like shields,'® to show how Mary defends 
all who take refuge with her. Blessed Amedeus gives 
another explanation, and says that this holy Virgin is 
called a planer-tree, because, aa the plane shelters tra- 
vellers under its branches from the heat of the sun and 
from the rain, so do men find refuge under the mantle 
of Mary from the ardour of their passions and from the 
fury of temptations."' Truly are those souls to be pitied 
who abandon this defence, in ceasing their devotion to 
Mary, and no longer recommending themselves to her 
in the time of danger. If the sun ceased to rise, says 
8t. Bernard, how could the world become other than a 
chaos of darkness and hoiTor t And applying his ques- 
tion to Mary, he repeats it. ^Take away the sun, and 
where will be the day t Take away Maiy, and what 

* Sioat turrif David oollum tunm, qas SDdifieata est onm propajpoMuUti 
■dl]e olypei pendent ex ea, omnia armatara fortium. — CanL iv . 4.^ 

* Quasi platanus ezaltata sum juxta aquam in plateis. — BocL zxir. 19. 

* Platanus habet moUia folia, scutis similia.— -/n Ecd, c^ x^v. 

' Virgo ramomm «aorum admirabili extensione sose alnqae tcmnm 

•xpftn^t, ut disperso^ filios Ads nb sBStu, a turbine, et a pluvte < 
iMider»bili protegerct — De lAiui. Virg. Horn. rill. 

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will be left but the darkest nigb t V^ When a soul i oses 
devotion to Mary, it is immediately enveloped in dark- 
ness, and in that darkness of which the Holy Ghost 
speaks in the Psalms: "Thou hast appointed darkness, 
and it is night ; in it shall all thcf beasts of the woods 
go about.'^ When the light of heaven ceases to shine 
in a soul, all is darkness, and it becomes the haunt 
of devils and of every sin. Saint Anselm says, that 
*if anyone is disregarded and condemned by Mary, 
he is necessarily lost'^° and therefore we may with 
reason exclaim, Woe to those who are in oppo- 
sition with this sun ? Woe to those who despise its 
light ! that is to say, all who despise devotion to 
Mary. St. Francis Borgia always doubted the per- 
severance of those in whom he did not find particular 
devotion to the Blessed Virgin. On one occasion he 
questioned some novices as to the saints towards whom 
they had special devotion, and perceiving some 
who had it not towards Mary, he instantly warned 
the master of novices, and desired him to keep a more 
attentive watch over these unfortunate young men, who 
all, as he had feared, lost their vocations and renounced 
the religious state. 

It was, then, not without reason that St. Germanus 
called the most Blessed Virgin the breath of Christians } 
for as the body cannot live without breathing, so the 
soul cannot live without having recourse to and recom- 
mending itself to Mary, by whose means we certainly 
acquire and preserve the life of divine grace within 
our sonls. But I will quote the Saint's own words : 
'As breathing is not only a sign but even a cause of 
life, so the name of Mary, which is constantly found on 
the lips of God's servants, both proves that they are 
duly alive, and at the same time causes and preserves 

' Tolle corpus boo folare, n\A dietf Tolle Mariftm, quid nisi < 
iMiebrs relinquentor ? — Sarm. de Aquad. 

* Pofuitti tenebrai, et facta ett nox : in ipsa pertransibaiit omnes bestia 
mrm.—Pt. ciiL 20 

1* Omnis a to aTCiiiis et a to dcspectos asessso est at intenat— ^Ul Ji. JM^ 

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their life, and gives them every succour.'" Blessed 
Allan was one day assaulted by a violent temptation^ 
and was on the point of yielding, for he had not recom- 
mended himself to M^y, when the most Blessed Virgin 
appeared to him; and in order that another time he might 
remember to invoke her aid, she gave him a blow, say- 
ing, * If thou hadst recommended thyself to me, thou 
wouldst not have run into such danger.-^ 

On the other hand, Mary says in the following words 
of the Book of Proverbs, which are applied to her by 
the Ohurch j '^ Blessed is the man that heareth me, and 
that watcheth daily at my gates, and waiteth at the 
posts of my doors''^ — ^as if she would say, Blen^d is he 
that hears my voice and is constantly attentive to apply 
at the door of my mercy, and seeks light and help horn. 
me. For clients who do this, Mary does fcer part, and 
obtains them the light and strength they require to 
abandon sin and walk in the paths of virtue. For this 
reason Innocent III. beautifully calls her * the moon at 
night, the dawn at break of day, and the sun at mid- 
day.'^ She is a moon to enlighten those who blindly, 
wander in the night of sin, and makes them see and 
understand the miserable state of damnation in which 
they are ; she is the dawn (that is, the forerunner of the 
sun) to those whom she has aheady enlightened, and 
makes them abandon sin and return to God, the true 
Sun of justice ; finally, she is a sun to those who are in 
a state of grace, and prevents them from again fEilling 
into the precipice of sin. 

Learned writers apply the following words of Ecole- 
siasticus to Mary, " Her bands are a healthful binding."" 
'Why bands V asks Saint Lawience Justinian, ' except 
it be that she binds her servants, and thus prevents them 

u Qaomodo enim corpus nottnim vitalia signnm operation^ babet rMpl- 
mtionem, ita^Btiam sanctissimum tuoxn nomen, quod in ore BervOTom taicaoi 
Tersator assidan in omni tempore, loco, et modo, vitSB, IsetitiflB, et aozilil 
Qon folom est signnm, sed ea etiam procurat et conoiliat — De Zona B, V. 

^ Beatns homo qui audit me, et qui vigilat ad fores meas quotidie, et 0^ 
0«rTSt ad postes ostii mei.— Prtw. viii. 34 Infesto Cone. B, V, M, 

" Luna lucet in nocte, aurora in diluculo, sol in die.— iSSsrm. % at AM^ 

M VlMola ilUui aill«ataift •alutaria.— A0I. ri. 31. 

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ftom straying into the paths of vioe.'^ And truly this ii 
the reason for wbicli Mary binds her servants. Saint 
Bonaventure also, in his cjommentary on the words of Ec- 
olesiasticus, frequently used in the office of Mary, "My 
abode is in the full assembly of saints,"^® says that Mary 
not only has her abode in the full assembly of saints^ 
but also preserves them from falling, keeps a constant 
watch over their virtue, that it may not fail, and restraini 
the evil spirits from injuring them.^''^ Not only has she 
her abode in the full assembly of the saints, but she 
keeps the saints there, by preserving their merits that 
they may not lose them, by restraining the devils from 
injuring^hem, and by withholding the arm of her Son 
from falling on sinners.' * 

In the Book of Proverbs we are told that all Mary's 
clients are clothed with double garments. ** For all her 
domestics are clothed with double garments,''^' Cornelius 
a Lapide explains what this double clothing is : he says 
that it ' consists in her adorning her faithful servants 
with the virtues of her Son and with her own f^^ and 
thus clothed they persevere in virtue. And therefore 
St. Philip Neri, in his exhortations to his penitents, 
used always to say : ' My children, if you desire perse- 
verance, be devout to our Blessed Lady.' The venerable 
John Berchmans, of the society of Jesus, used also to 
say: 'Whoever loves Mary will have perseverance.' 
Truly beautiful is the reflection of the Abbot Rupert on 
this subject in his commentary on the parable of the pro- 
digal son. He says, ' That if this dissolute youth had 
had a mother living, he would never have abandoned 

>* QoaM TisoolAt nisi quia lenros Ugat, ne disoorrant per eampot Jio&m* 

^ In plenitadine sanctoram detentio me^^Eocl. zziy. 16. 

^ IfUSk qaoqae non solum in plenitndine sanotoram detinetv, wd etiam 
tai plenitudine sanotos detinet, ne eoram plenitudo minoatur ; ietiiiet ninu 
fom Yirtntes, ne tnghaxit : detinet merita, ne pereant : detinet 'dssmonea no 
Boeeant : detinet Filiam, ne peocatores peroatiat—i9jpec. B. V. M. lect. riii. 

u Omnet enim domestioi ejus vestiti sunt daplioibus. — Prm. xzzi. 21. 

" Dnplioi Teste ipsa ornat sibi devotos ; eaqae runras duplex est, qrda tan 
Oltfiati qaam B. Viiginls yirtatibai eos iiestit et indoit— 0mm. in Prov, JUkm, 

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the paternal roof, or at least would have reiomed maob 
sooner than lie did f^ meaning thereby that a son of 
Mary either never abandons God, or, if he has this mis- 
fortune, by her help he soon returns. O, did all men 
but love this most benign and loving Lady, had they 
but recourse to her always, and without delay, in their 
temptations, who would fall 1 who would ever be lost t 
He falls and is lost who has not recourse to Mary St- 
Lawrence Justinian applies to Mary the words of Eccle- 
giasticus, ^ I have walked in the waves of the sea :^^ and 
makes her say, ' I walk with my servants in the midst 
of the tempests to which they are constantly exposed, 
to assist and preserve them from falling into sin.' 

Bemardine 4e Bustis relates that a bird was taught 
to say ' Hail, Mary l'^ A hawk was on the point of seiz- 
ing it, when the bird cried out ' Hail, Mary !' In an in- 
stant the hawk fell dead. God intended to show thereby, 
that if even an irrational creature was preserved by call- 
ing on Mary, how much more would those who are 
prompt in calling on her when assaulted by devils, bo 
delivered from them. We, says St. Thomas of Villanova, 
need only when tempted by the devil, imitate little 
chickens, which, as soon as they preceive the approach 
of a bird of prey, run under the wings of their mother 
for protection. This is exactly what we should do when- 
ever we are assaulted by temptation ; we should not 
stay to reason with it, but immediately fly and place 
ourselves undw the mantle of Mary. I will, however, 
quote the Saint's own words addressed to Mary. * As 
chickens when they see a kite soaring above, run and 
find refuge under the wings of the hen, so are we pre- 
served under the shadow of thy wings.*^ ' And thou,' 
he continues, ' who art our Lady and Mother, hast to 
defend us ; for, after God, we have no other refuge than 

* Si prodigns fSIias viyeDtem matrem habaiMet, yel a petoroa domo noii' 
foam disoeflBisset, vel forte citins rediicMt t 

" In flactibas maris ambalavi.>~£cct. xxiv. 8. 

*• Marial. p. 12, s. L 

" Sksat pnlli, Tolitantibas dei nper milTia, ad galliiiv alas ooeorrant. Mi 
mm tub vMaiiMnto alanun taamin abaoondimor.— iScrifi. dt NtU, VwB» 

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thee, who art our only hope and our proteotreM| 
towards thee we all turn our eyes with confidence.'** 

Let us then conclude in the words of Saint Bernard: 
<0 man, whoever thou art, understand that in this world 
thou art tossed about on a stormy and tempestuous 
tea, rather than walking on solid ground ; remember 

hat if thou wouldst avoid being drowned, thou must 
never tarn thine eyes from the brightness of this star, 
but keep them fixed on it, and call on Mary. In dan* 

;ers, in straits, in doubts, remember Mary, invoke 

"ary.'^ Yes, in dangers of sinning, when molested by 
temptations, when doubtful as to how you should act, 
remember that Mary can help you ; and call upon her, 
and she will instantly succour you. ' IM not her name 
leave thy lips, let it be ever in thy heart.' Your hearts 
should never lose confidence in her holy name, nor 
should your lips ever cease to invoke it. ' Following 
her, thou wilt certainly not go astray.' 0, no, if we fol- 
' >ow Mary, we shall never err from the paths of salvation. 

imploring her, thou wilt not despair.' Each time that we 
.Qvoke her aid, we shall be inspired with prefect confi- 
Jenoe. ' If she supports thee, thou canst not fall f ^ if she 
oiotects thee thou hast nothing to fear, for thou canst not 
be lost :' ' with her for thy guide, thou wilt not be weary; 
for thy salvation will be worked out with ease.' ' If she 
is propitious, thou wilt gain the port.'^ If Mary un- 
dertakes our defence, we are certain of gaining the 
k ingdom of heaven. '^ This do, and thou sfaalt live."" 

**■ N«Mlraiu altiid reftiginm nM tt , ta aola et luiloa sptm noetra, iii 4«m 
. .I'.tVJfimos ; m SOU patioua nostra, ad qaam omnet aspioimm.— iSeim. 3^ m 
i<at li. V. 

* O qaiiqait tit intollifni in hnjtifi wcoH proflavio mag** inter prryMllaa t4 
viDiWtates flvctoaro, qvam per tenam ambnlan ; ne avertas ooalof a ^Vl- 

fore liujus eideris, si oou yis cbroi pkooellis Bespioe stellam, vora Ita- 

nnm In pericalis, in anrustiis, in rebus dabiis, Ifariam oogita, Kariaa 

'ix.\ttuk.— Super Mixitu €tt Uum. ii: 

^ NoQ reoedat ab ore, non reoiidat a coTvle, et at impetres ejus omtloKto 
sufTraginm non desera« conteMMUonis «xempiam : ipsam seqooai?) ivoa 
devit\3: ipsam rogans, n^a dA8i.«ras: Ipsam cogitans, non errw: ipaa 
'tfnenle, mm corra>:- • ipsa ptwegeute. non metais: ipaa daoe, noil &^^a*li»t 
lrjf.a propit'a, pei^ iS, et sic in temetipso experiris qocun men*o dietoBft ibk 
tx pomen Virginia BIari/(.~/l>. 

** H« &(). el viree.— I«c. z. tt. 

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The histoiy of St. Mary of Egypt, in the first book 
ot the lives of the Fathers, is well known. At the 
age of twelve years she fled from the hoose of her 
parents, and went to Alexandria, and there led an in- 
£eanoas life, and was a scandal to the whole oity. After 
living for sixteen years in sin, she took it into her head 
to go to Jemsalem. At the time the feast of the holy 
cross was being celebrated, and, moved rather by oon- 
osity than by devotion, she determined on entering the 
chnrch ; bnt when at the door, she felt herself repelled 
by an invisible f^^rce. She made a seoood attempt, and 
was again onable to enter ; and the same thing ^as re- 
peated a third and a fourth time. Finding her effoita 
m vain, the nnfortmiate creature withdrew to a eomer 
of Uie poroh, and there, enlightened hem above, under- 
stood that it was on account of her infamous life that 
GKmI had repelled her even from the church. In that 
moment she fortunately raised h^ eyes and beheld a 
picture of Mary. No sooner did she p^ceive it, than, 
sobbing, she exclaimed, * Mother of Otodj pity a poor 
nnner ! I know that on account of my sins I deserve 
not that thou shouldst cast thine eyes upon me. But 
thou art the refuge of sinners j for the love of thy Son 
Jesus, help me. Permit me to enter the church, and 
I promise to change my life and to go and do penance 
In whatCTer place thou pointest out to me.' She im- 
mediately heard an internal voice, as it were that of the 
Blessed Virgin, replying : ' Since thou hast recourse to 
me, and wishest to change thy life, go— enter the church, 
it is no longer closed against thee.' The sinner entered^ 
adored the cross, and wept bitterly. She then returned 
to the picture, and said, *Lady, behold I am ready 
where \n\t thou that I should go to do penance V ' Go,^ 
the Blessed Virgin replied, ' aroea the Jordan, and thou 
wilt find the place of thy repotje.' She went to confes- 
rion and communion, and then passed the rivet, and 
finding herself in the desert, she understood that k waa 

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in that place she should do penance for ter sinfdl 
life. During the first seventeen years the assaults of 
the devil, by which he endeavoured to make the Saint 
again fall into sin, were terrible. And what were her 
means of defence f She constantly recommended herself 
to Mary, and this most Blessed Virgin obtained heT 
strength to resist during the whole of the above i&mBf 
after which her combats ceased. After fifty-seven years 
spent in the desert, and having attained the age of 87, 
she was by a disposition of providence met by the Abbot 
Zosimus J to him she related the history of her life, and 
entreated him to return the following year, and to bring 
her the holy communion. The saintly Abbot did so, 
and gave her the bread of angels. She then requested 
that he would again return to see her. This also he 
did, but found her dead. Her body was encompassed 
by a bright light, and at her head these words were 
written, * Bury my body here^ — ^it is that of a poor sin- 
ner, and intercede with God for me.' A lion came 
and made a grave with his claws. St. Zosimus buried 
her, returned to his monastery, and related the wonders 
of God's mercy towards this happy sinner. 


O compassionate Mother, most sacred Virgin, behold 
at thy feet the traitor, who, by paying with ingratitude 
the graces received from God through thy means, has 
betrayed both thee and Him. But I must tell thee O 
most blessed Lady, that my misery, far from taking 
away my confidence, increases it ; for I see that thy com- 
passion is great in proportion to the greatness of my 
misery. Show thyself, Mary, full of liberality towards 
me; for thus thou art towards all who invoke thy aid. 
. All that I ask is that thou shouldst cast thine eyes of 
compassion on me, and pity me. If thy heart is thus far 
moved, it cannot do otherwise than protect me j and 
if thou protectest me, what can I fear t No, I fear^no- 
thing ; I do not fear my sins, for thoa canst {wovide a 

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remedy ; I do not feax devils, for thou art more power- 
ful than the whole of hell ; I do not even fear thy Son, 
though justly irritated against me, for at a word of 
thine He will be appeased. I only fear lest, in my 
temptations, and by my own fault, I may cease to re- 
commend myself to thee, and thus be lost. But I now 
promise thee that I will always have recourse to thee ; 
0, help me to fulfil my promise. Lose not the oppor- 
tunity which now presents itself of gratifying thy ardent 
desire to succor such poor wretches as myself. In thee, 
O Mother of God, I have unbounded confidence. From 
thee I hope for grace to bewail my sins as I ought, and 
from thee I hope for strength never again to fall into 
them. If I am sick, thou, heavenly physician, canst 
heal me. If my sins have weakened me, thy help will 
strengthen me. Mary, I hope all from thee ; for 
ihou art all-powerful with God. Amen. 

SscnoN III. Mary renders Death sweet to her Clients. 

^' He that is a friend loveth at all times ^ and a 
brother is proved in distress,"^ says the book of Pro- 
verbs. We can never know our friends and relations in 
the time of prosperity ; it is only in the time of adver- 
sity that we see them in their true colours. People of the 
world never abandon a friend as long as he is in pros- 
perity ; but should misfortunes overtake him, and more 
particularly should he be at the point of death, they 
immediately forsake him. Mary does not act thuo with 
her clients. In their afflictions, and more particularly 
in the sorrows of death, the greatest that can be en- 
dured in this world, this good Lady and Mother not 
only does not abandon her faithful servants, but as, 
during our exile, she is our life, so also is she, at our last 
hour, our sweetness, by obtaining us a calm and happy 

> Omni tempore diligit q«i amleiit est: et fratM in anffoetUt 

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death. For from the day on which Mary had the pri- 
vilege and sorrow of being present at the death of Jesus 
her Son, who was the head of all the predestined, it 
became her privilege to assist also at their deaths. And 
for this reason the holy Charoh teaches us to beg this 
most Blessed Virgin to assist us, especially at the 
moment of death : Pray for us sinners, now and at the 
haur of our death! 

how great are the sufferings of the dying I They 
Buffer from remorse of conscience on account of past 
sins, from fear of the approaching judgment, ^nd from 
the uncertainty of their eternal salvation. Then it is 
that hell arms itself, and spares no efforts to gain the 
soul which is on the point of entering eternity ; for it 
knows that only a short time remains in which to gain 
it, and that if it then loses it, it has lost it for ever. 
" The devil is come down unto you, having great wrath 
knowing that he hath but a short time.''^ And for this 
reason the enemy of our salvation, whose charge it was 
to tempt the soul during life, does not choose at death 
to be alone, but calls others to his assistance, according 
to the prophet Isaias : " Their £ouses shall be filled 
with serpents." ' And indeed they are so ; for when a 
person is at the point of death, the whole place in 
which he is, is filled with devils, who all unite to make 
him lose his soul. 

It is related of St. Andrew Avellino, that ten thou- 
sand devils came to tempt him at his death. The con- 
flict that he had in his agony with the powers of hell 
was so terrible, that all the good religious who assisted 
him trembled. They saw the Saint's face swelled to 
such a degree from agitation, that it became quite black, 
e^ery limb trembled and was contorted ; his eyes shed 
a torrent of tears, his head shook violently 5 all gave 
evidence of the terrible assault he was enduring on the 
part of his infernal foes. All wept with compassion, 

' * DesoendH diabolna ad tm, habens imn maipuun, foieoi quod 
iHAmu habet~4poe. zii, 13. 
* jUpltbuntor domof ewnim dnMoii{bQi.~/M<a« jOL SL 

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otm tilic, oim swESTKBs^ iri 

And redoubled their prayers, and at the same time treni' 
bled with fear, on seeing a Saint die thus. They were, 
however, consoled at seeing, that often, as if seeking 
for help, the Saint turned his eyes towards a devout 
picture of Mary; for they remembered that during life 
he had often said that at death Mary would be his re- 
fuge. At length God was pleased to put an end to the 
contest by granting him a glorious victory; for the con- 
tortions of his body ceased, his face resumed its orignal 
size and colour, and the Saint, with his eyes tranquilly 
fixed on the picture, made a devout inclination to Mary 
(who it is believed then appeared to him), as if in the 
act of thanking her, and with a heavenly smile on his 
countenance tranquilly breathed forth his blessed soul 
into the arms of Mary. At the same moment) a Capu- 
chiness, who was in her agony, turning to the nuns who 
surrounded her, said, ^Eecite a HaQ Mary ; for a Saint 
has just expired.' 

Ah, how quickly do the rebellious spirits fly from 
the presence of this queen ! If at tne hour of death we 
have only the protection of Mary, what need we fear 
from the whole of our infernal enemies t Davi< I, fearing 
the horrors of death, encouraged himself by placing his 
reliance in the death of the coming Redeemer and in 
the intercession of the Virgin Mother. "For though,'' 
he says, " I should walk in the midst of the shadow of 
death thy rod and thy staff, they have com- 
forted me.''* Cardinal Hugo, explaining these wc rds of 
the royal prophet, says that the staff signifies the cross, 
and the rod is the intercession of Mary j for she is the 
rod fortold by the prophet Isaias : "And there shall 
come forth a rod out of the root of Jesse, and a flower 
shall rise up out of his root."* * This Divine Mother,' 
says Saint Peter Damian, ' is that powerful rod with 
which the violence of the infernal enemies is oon- 

«Et ri ambnlaTero in medio umbne mortto....Tlrg» Ua^ •! bMolot 
lug, ipM m« oonsolata laiit— Pt. xzii. 4. . , ^ 

• Egradi«titfTirff»d«nKlio« Jmm, et Am de radio* elai MO«Bd«t— Zni<M 

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H Oirk tii^E, otiB SWE:Bl?Ki;gs. 

quered. '^ And therefore does St. AntoDinuB encourage 
as^ saying, 'If Mary is for us, who shall be against 
us ^^ When Father Emanuel Padial, of the Society of 
Jesus, was at the point of death, Mary appeared to biuj, 
and to console him, she said : 'See at length the hour 
is come when the angels congratulate with thee, and 
exclaim : happy labours, mortifications well re- 
quited ! And in the same moment an army of demons 
was seen taking its flight, and crying out in despair : 
Alas ! we can do nought, for she who is without stain 
defends him. '^ In like manner. Farther Gaspar Hay- 
wood was assaulted by devils at his death, and greatly . 
tempted against faith : he immediately recommended 
himself to the most Blessed Virgin, and was heard to 
exclaim,' 'I thank thee, Mary ; for thou hast come to my 
aid.'® St. Bonaventure tells us that Maxy sends with- 
out delay the prince of the heavenly court, Saint Mi- 
chael, with all the angels, to defend her dying servants 
against the temptations of the devils, and to receive the 
souls of all who in a special manner and perseveringly 
have recommended themselves to her. The Saint, ad- 
dressing our Blessed Lady, says, ' Michael, the leader 
and prince of the heavenly army, with all the admini- 
stering spirits, obeys thy commands, Virgin, and 
defends and receives the souls of the faithful who have 
particularly recommended themselves to thee, Lady, 
day and night.'io 

The prophet Isaias tells us that when a man is on 
the point of leaving the world, hell is opened and sends 
forth its most terrible demons, both to tempt the soul 
before it leaves the body, and also to accuse it wheu 
presented before the tribunal of Jesus Christ for judg^ 

* H»o eit vlrga Ilia, qoa retundontor impetoi adyesMntiain damonl^ 
nm. — Serm. de Au. B, V 

' Si Maria pro nobis, quia contra nos 1 1 
' • Henol. 28 Apr.— 9 Genn. 


^^ Michael dnz et princepe militidB ccelestis, cum omnibu adndsiatfatorilf 
^^tibtu, tuis, Virgo, paret pmoeptis, in defendendis in oorpore et in somIp 
Mmidii de corpore animabns ndelium, ipeoialiter tibi, Dondnak diaao aoola M 
PM •on]nendantiaiii.'-~4M«. B, V, l«ot. 3. 

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ment. The prophet says, " Hell below was in an up- 
roar to meet thee at thy coming ; it stirred np the giants 
for thee.'^^^ But Richard of Saint Lawrence remarks, 
that when the soul is defended by Mary, the devils 
dare not even accuse it, knowing that the judge never 
condemned, and never will condemn, a soul protected bj 
hifl augugt Mother. He asks, * Who would dare accuse 
one who is patronised by the Mother of Him who is to 
judge f ^ Mary not only assists her beloved servants at 
death and encourages them, but she herself accompanies 
them to the tribunal-seat of God. As St. Jerome says, 
writing to the virgin Eustochia, * What a day of joy will 
that be for thee, when Mary, the Mother of our Lord, 
accompanied by choirs of virgins, will go to meet 

The Blessed Virgin assured Saint Bridget of this } 
for, speaking of her devout clients at the point of death, 
she said, * Then will I, their dear Lady and Mother, fly 
to them, that they may have consolation and refresh- 
ment.'^* St. Vincent Ferrer says, that not only does 
the most Blessed Virgin console and refresh them, but 
that • she receives the souls of the dying.'^ This loving 
Queen takes them under her mantle, and thus presents 
thtvi to the Judge her Son, and most certainly obtains 
their salvation. This really happened to Charles the 
son of St. Bridget,^^ who died in the army, far firom his 
mother. She feared much for his salvation on account 
of the dangers to which young men are exposed in a 
military career; but the Blessed Virgin revealed to her 
that he was saved on account of his love for her, and 

" Infenrat sribter contorltMtai est in ooonnnm adTenUit tid, raadteftt 
1IM figantet .~7«auu ziv. 9. 

" Quis enim apud Filium aconsare audeat, oai matrein Tideril palroal- 
■antem?— De Lattd. V. L ii. o. 1. 

" Qoalis erit ilia dies, quum tibi Maria Mater Domini dhorif ooooml 
oomitata r\xgine\Bl^Eput. ad Bust, de Cftut^ Virg. 

M Ego canssima domina eomm et mater obviabo eis et oootinaB da )■ 
aorta, at etiam in ipsa morte oonsolationem et refrigeriom habeaat. Wm, 
lb. i. 0. 29. 

^ Beata Virgo animat morientiam aaioipit.— <Serm. dt JM, t 

!• IUt. lib. Ttt. 0. 13. 

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that in consequence she herself had assisted him at death, 
and had suggested to him the acts that should be made 
at that teirible moment. At the same time the Saint 
saw Jesus on His throne, and the devU bringing two 
accusations against the most Blessed Virgin : the first 
was, that Mary had prevented him from tempting 
Charles at the moment of death ; and the second was, 
that this Blessed Virgin had herself presented his soul 
to the Judge, and so saved it without even giving him 
the opportunity of exposing the grounds on which he 
claimed it. She then saw the Judge drive the devil 
away, and Charles's soul carried to heaven. 

Ecclesiasticus says, that "her bands are a healthful 
binding,''^ and that "in the latter end thou shalt find 
rest in her/''' 0, you are indeed fortunate, my brother, 
if at death you are bound with the sweet chains of the 
love of the Mother of God ! These chains are chains of 
salvation; they are chains that will insure your eternal 
salvation, and will make you enjoy in death that blessed 
peace which will be the beginning of your eternal peace 
and rest. Father Binetti, in his book on the perfec- 
tions of our blessed Lord, says, ' that having attended 
the death-bed of a great lover of Mary, he heard him, 
before expiring, utter these words: '0 my father, 
would that you could know the happiness that I now 
enjoy from having served the most holy Mother of 
God ; I cannot tell you the joy that I now experi- 
ence.'^ Father Suarez (in consequence of his devotion 
to Mary, whic& was such that he used to say that 
he would willingly change all his learning for the 
merit of a single * Hail Mary ') died with such peace 
and joy, that in that moment he said, ' I could not 
have thought that death was so sweet -, ' meaning, that 
he could never have imagined that it was possible, if 
be had not then experienced it, that he could have 

* YiBoala fllioi alllgataia salntarli.— JSoeZ. tL 91. 

* la norlMiinto enim invenies reqiii«in in 6a.^JM 

* Chtf-d'fl»on« dt D. p. 3. oh. 0. 

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otTB Lam, ouB swsxtunBss. n 

found sach sweetness in death. Yon^ devout readeri 
will| witli<»ut doabt, experience the same joy and con- 
tentment in death, if yon can then remember that yoa 
have loved this good Mother, who cannot be otherwise 
than faithf al to her children ^vho have been faithful 
in serving and honouring her, by theur visits, rosaries, 
and fasts, and still more by frequently thanking and 
praising her, and often recommending themselves to 
ner powerful protection. 

Nor will this consolation be withheld, even if yoa 
have been for a time a sinner, provided that, from this 
day, you are careful to live well, and to serve this most 
gracious and benign Lady. She, in your pains, and in 
the temptations to despair which the devil will send 
yoUi will console you, and even come herself to assist 
you in your last moments. Marinus, the brother of 
Saint Peter Damian, who relates it,^ had one day 
offended God- grievously. He went before an altar of 
Maiy, to dedicate himself to her as her slave ; and for 
this purpose, and as a mark of servitude, put his girdle 
round his neck, and thus addiessed her :^ My sove- 
reign Lady, mirror of that purity which I, miserable 
mnner that I am, have violated, thereby outraging my 
God and thee, I know no better remedy for my crime 
than to offer myself to thee for thy slave. Behold me 
then: to thee do I this day dedicate myself, that I may 
be thy servant ; accept me, though a rebel, and reject 
me not.' He then left a sum of money on the step of 
the altar, and promised to pay a like sum every year, 
aa a tribute which he owed as a slave of Mary. After 
a certain time Marinus fell dangerously ill -, but one 
morning, before expiring, he was heard to exclaim : 
' Sise, rise, pay homage to my Queen F and then he 
added : * And whence is this favour, Queen of Hea- 
ven, that thou shouldst condescend to visit thy poor 
■ervant t Bless me, Lady, and permit me not to bo 
loflt^ after having honoured me with thy prosenoo.' Al 

** Opwo. 93^ ea^ If* 

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78 OUR tll'E, OUH SWBB1NE8S. 

this moment his brother Peter entered, and to him he 
related the visit of Mary j and added, that she had 
blest him; but at the same time complained that 
those who were present had remained seated in the 
presence of this great Queen ; and shortly afterwards 
ne sweetlj expired in our Lord. Such also will be 
your death, beloved reader, if you are faithful to Mary. 
Though you may have hitherto offended God, she wUl 
procure you a sweet and happy death. 
And if by chance at that moment you are greatly 
alanned and lose confidence at the sight of your sins, 
she will come and encourage you, as she did Adolpbus, 
Count of Alsace,^^ who abandoned the world, and em- 
braced the order of St. Francis. In the Chronicles of 
that Order, we are told that he had a tender devotion 
to the Mother of God ; and that when he was at tbe 
point of death, his former life and the rigours of Divine 
justice presented themselves before his mind, and 
caused him to tremble at the thought of death, and 
fear for his eternal salvation. Scarcely had these 
thoughts entered his mind, when Mary (who is always 
active when her servants are in pain), accompanied by 
many Saints, presented herself before the dying man, 
and encouraged him wath words of the greatest tender- 
ness, saying : ' My own beloved Adolph, thou art minoi 
thou hast given thyself to me, and now why dost thou 
fear death so much V On hearing these words, the ser- 
vant of Mary was instantly relieved, fear was banished 
from his soul, and he expired in the midst of the 
greatest peace and joy. Let us then be of good hearty 
though we be sinners, and feel certain that Mary will 
come and assist us at death, and comfort and console 
us with her presence, provided only that we serve ber 
with love during the remainder of the time that we 
have to be in this world. Our Queen, one day address- 
ing Saint Matilda, promised that she would asmst all 
ber clients at de^th^ who, during their lives, had Mik^ 

* AaiiiaiiB% AC toamto. p. S. «. H 

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fdllj sen ed her. ^ I, as a most tender Mother, will 
fiuthfidly be present at the death of all who pioosly 
serve me, and will console and protect them. ' ^ God, 
what a consolation will it be at that last moment of 
our lives, when our eternal lot has so soon to be de- 
cided, to see the Queen of Heaven assisting and con- 
•oling ns with the assurance of her protection. For, 
besides the cases already given in which we have seen 
Mary assisting her dying servants, there aie innumer- 
able others recorded in different works. This favour 
was granted to Saint Clare ; to Saint Felix, of the Order 
of Capuchins; to Saint Clare of Montefalco; to Saint 
Teresa ; to Saint Peter of Alcantara. But, for our 
common consolation, I will relate the following. Father 
Crasset^ tell us, that Mary of Oignes saw the Blessed 
Virgin at the pillow of a devout widow of Villembroe, 
who was ill with a violent fever. Mary stood by her 
side, consoling her, and cooling her with a fan. Of 
Saint John of God,^ who was tenderly devoted to 
Mary, it is related that he fully expected that she 
would visit him on his death-bed ; but not seeing her 
arrive, he was afflicted, and perhaps even complained. 
But when his last hour had come, the Divine Mother 
appeared, and gently reproving him for his little con- 
fidence, addressed him in the following tender words, 
which may well encourage all servants of Mary : * John, 
it is not in me to forsake my clients at such a moment. ' 
As though she had said : ' John, of what wast thou 
thinking t Didst thou imagine that I had abandoned 
thee t And dost thou not know that I never abandon 
my clients at the hour of death t If I did not come 
sooner, it was that thy time was not yet come ; but 
now that it is come, behold me here to take thee ; let 
ns go to Heaven. ' Shortly afterwards the Saint ex- 

» Ego omnflrai, qni mihi pie et sancte deservinnt, Tolo to mOTte ld«U» 
lime tamqoam mater piiMima adene, eoiqiM oodmImI ao prol^feM.-<w4^ 
Bloi. Cond. an. Fid. cap. zii. 

* Div. alia Vent. torn. i. tr. L qo. ad. 


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pired, aud fled to tliat blessed klDgdom, there to thank 
b]0 most loving Queen for all eternity. 


Let ns close this subject with another example, in 
which we shall see how great is the tenderness of thit 
good Mother towards her children at death. The parish 
priest of a country place was assisting a certain rich man 
who was dying, in a magnificent house, Jand attended 
upon by servants, relatives, and friends ; but the good 
priest saw also devils,in the shape of dogs, waiting to 
carry off his soul, ^s they in fact did ; for he died in 
gin. In the mean time, a poor woman was also ill j and 
desiring to receive the Holy Sacraments, sent for the 
parish priest ; but he, being unable to leave the rich 
man, whose soul stood in such need of assistance, sent 
her another priest, who immediately went carrying the 
pix which contained the Most Blessed Sacrament. On 
nis arrival, he saw neither servant, nor attendants, nor 
fine furniture 5 for the sick worrvan was poor, and per- 
haps only lying on a little straw. But he saw a great 
light iii the room, and near the bed of the dying person 
was the Mother of God, Mary, consoling her, and, with 
a cloth in her hand, wiping off the sweat of death. The 
priest, seeing Mary, feared to enter ; but the Blessed 
Virgin made him a sign to come in. The priest entered, 
and Mary showed him a stool, that he might be seated, 
and hear the confession of her servant. This he did, 
and after she had communicated with great devotion, 
she happily breathed forth her soul in the arms of 


my most sweet Mother, how shall I die, poor mn 
ner that I am ! Even now the thought of that impor- 
tant moment when I must expire, and appear before the 

** BoTkt, El. t Mir. p. 8.M. 4, 

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judgment-seat of God, and the remembrance that I have 
myself so often written my condemnation by oonsentin|^ 
to sins, makes me tremble. I am confonnded, and fear 
much for my eternal salvation. O Mary, in the blood 
of Jesus, and in thy intercession, is all my hope. Thoa 
art the Queen of Heaven, the mistress of the oni verse ; 
in short, thou art the Mother of God. Thou art great, 
but thy greatness does not prevent, nay even it inclinee 
thee to greater compassion towards us in our miseries. 
Worldly friends, when raised to dignity, disdain to no- 
tice their former friends who may have fallen into dig- 
kess. Thy noble and loving heart does not act thuSy for 
the greater the miseries it beholds, the greater are its 
efforts to relieve. Thou, when called upon, immediately 
assistest 5 nay more, thou anticipatest our prayers by 
thy favors ; thou consolest us in our afflictions ; thou 
dissipatest the storms by which we are tossed about ; 
thou overcomest all enemies ; thou, in fine, never losest 
an occasion to promote our welfare. May that Divine 
hand which has united in thee such majesty and such 
tenderness, such greatness and so much love, be for 
ever blessed ! I thank my Lord for it, and congratulate 
myself in having so great an advantage ; for truly in 
thy felicity do I place my own, and I consider thy lot 
as mine. comfortress of the afflicted, console a pooi 
creature who recommends himself to thee. The re- 
morse of a conscience overburdened with sins fills me 
with affliction. I am in doubt as to whether I have 
sufficiently grieved for them. I see that all my actions 
are soiled and defective ; hell awaits my death in order 
to accuse me ; the outraged justice of God demands 
satisfaction. My Mother, what will become of me t H 
thou dost not help me, I am lost. What sayest thou, 
wilt thou assist me ? compassionate Virgin, console 
me; obtain me true sorrow for my sins; obtain me 
stiength to amend, and to be faithful to Gkni during 
the rest of my life. And finally, when I am in the last 
agonies of d§atb, Mary, my hope, abandon me not; 
ihen^ more then ever, help and encoura^me, that I may 

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not despair at the sight of my sins, which the evil one 
will then place before me. My Lady, forgive my 
temerity j come thyself to comfort me with thy presence 
in that last straggle. This favor thou hast granted to 
many, grant it also to me. If my boldness is great, thy 
goodness is greater ; for it goes in search of the mosi 
miserable to console them. On this I rely. For thy eter- 
nal glory, let it be said that thou hast snatched a wretch- 
ed creature from hell, to which he was already condemn- 
ed, and that thou hast led him to thy kingdom. yes, 
sweet Mother, I hope to have the consolation of re- 
maining always at thy feet in heaven thanking and 
blessing and loving thee eternally. Mary, I shall 
expect thee at my last hour ; deprive me not of this 
ponsolfttion. Fi«t, fiat. Amen« amen 

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believe the servant. 'Eeturn/ lie said, ' and tee agaiq 
if she really wants me.' The servant came back, re- 
peating, * Go quickly, for my mistress is waiting for 
you.' He went, opened the door, and beheld his wife 
alive. She immediately threw herself at his feet, and 
in tears aske<i his pardon, saying, * Ah, my husband, the 
Mother of Grod, through thy prayers, kas deli rered me 
from hell.' They then went together to the oratory^ 
weeping for joy, to return thanks to the most Blessed 
Virgin. On the following morning the husband gave 
a grand feast to all his relations, and made his wife 
herself relate the whole history j aiid she showed the 
mark of the wound, which still remained ; and thus all 
were more and more inflamed with love 'towards the 
Divine Mother. ^ 


Mother of holy love, our life, our refuge, and our 
hope, thou well knowest that thy Son Jesus Christ, 
not content with being Himself our perpetual advocate 
with, the eternal Father, has willed that thou also 
shouldst interest thyself with Him, in order to obtain 
the Divine mercies for us. He has decreed that thy 
prayers should aid our salvation, and has made them so 
efficacious that they obtain all that they ask. To thee, 
therefore, who art the hope of the miserable, do I, a 
wretched sinner, tiurn my eyes. I trust, Lady, that 
in the first place through the merits of Jesus Christ, 
and then through thy intercession, I shall be saved. 
Of this I am certain ; and my confidence in thee is such, 
that if my eternal salvation was in my own hands, I 
should place it in thine, for I rely more on thy mercy 
and protection than on all my own works. My Mother 
and my hope, abandon me not, though I deserve that 
thou shouldst do so. See my miseries, and, being moved 
thereby with compassion, help and save me. I own 
that I have too often closed my heart, by my sins, 
ifunfit Uie lights and helps that thou haat procoredftir 

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to be oar Mother and Advocate, and to her He has given 
all power to help us; and therefore He wills that we 
should repose our hope of salvation and of every bless* 
ing in her. Those who place their hopes in creatures 
alone, independently of God, as sinners do, and in order 
to obtain the friendship and favour of a man, fear not 
to outrage His Divine Majesty, are most certainly cursed 
by God, as the prophet Jeremias says. But those who 
hope in Mary, as Mother of God, who is able to obtain 
graces and eternal life for them, are truly blessed and 
acceptable to the heart of God, who desures to see that 
greatest of His creatures honoured j fer she loved amd 
honoured Him in this world more than all men and 
angels put together. And therefore we justly and rear 
sonably call the Blessed Virgin our Hope, trusting, as 
Cardinal Bellarmin says, ' that we shall obtain, through 
her intercession, that which we should not obtain by 
our own unaided prayers.' ' We pray to her, ' says the 
learned Suaxez, ^ in order that the dignity of the inter- 
cessor may supply for our own un worthiness j so that,** 
he continues, ' to implore the Blessed Virgin in such a 
spirit, is not diffidence in the mercy of Gk!d, but f^ar of 
our own unworthiness.'* 

It is, then, not without reason that the holy Chun^ 
in the words of Ecclesiasticus, calls Mary " the Mother 
of holy Hope."* She is the mother who gives birth to 
holy hope in our hearts j not to the hope of the vain 
and transitoiy goods of this life, but of the immense 
and eternal goods of heaven. ^ Hail, then, nope of 
my soul !' exclaims St. Ephrem, addressing this Divine 
Mother ; ^ hail, certain salvation of Christians ; hall 
help^ of sinner&-; hail, fortress of the faithful and 
salvation of the world*!'^ Other Saints remind us, that 

* Ut dignitas interoestorls supj^eat inopiam nostram. — De InoaamaM. p. % 
%, xxzyii. art 4, disp. S3, lecL 3. 

* Unde yirginem interpellare, non est de divina miserioordia difBdere, led 
ie propria indignitate et mditposltione timere. — lb. 

' Egt> mater sanots ipei.— £ec{M. xxiv. 24. 

' Ave anioMB fida et optima s^tes. Ave firma saliu nniTersonmi Cliri^ 
tfwonn^ to fiofi«« m '^Qob reooncntiain — Ta peofitoram fli r "^~ 

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ous HOPS. 85 

ftfter God, our only Hope is Mary : md, therefore, they 
e&U her, 'after God, their only Hope.' And St. Ephrem, 
reflecting on the present order of providence, by which 
Grod wills (as St. Benmrd says, and as we shall prove 
at length) that all who are saved shonld be saved by 
the means of Mary, thus addresses her : ^ Lady cease 
not to watch over us ; preserve and gnard as under the 
wings of thy compassion and mercy, for, after God, we 
have no hope but in thee."^ St. Thomas of Yillanova 
repeats the same thing, calling her ^ our only refngCi 
help, and asylum.** 

St. Bemsurd seems to give the reason for this 
when he says, ' See, man, the designs of God, — 
deogns by which He is able to dispense His mercy 
more abundantly to us; for, desiring to redeem the 
whole human race. He has placed the whole price of 
redemption in the hands of Mary, that she may dis- 
pense it at wilL'^ 

In the book of Exodus we 'read that God com- 
manded Moses to make a meroy-seat of the purest gold^ 
because it was thence that He would speak to mm. 
'' Thou shalt make also a propitiatory of the purest gold. 
. . . Thence will I give orders, and will speak to thee.''** 
St. Andrew of Crete says, that ' the whole world em- 
braces Mary as being this propitiatory.' And comment- 
ing on his words, a pious author exclaims, * Thou, O 
Mary, art the propitiatory of the whole world. From 
thee does our most compassionate Lord speak to our 
hearts; from thee He speaks words of pardon and 
mercy ; £rom thee He bestows His gifts } from thee all 

400tlCnloraiii onloa adroeata es atqne adjntrix At» TaDto fldelhnn, nini> 

4kin» aeixuL--Z>B Laud. Virff, 

* N<m i^bis est alia qiiam in le fldnola, O Virgo liiioeriMima. . . .sub mB 
mm jyietada atqae miserieordiflB turn protege et outodS not.— i>s Laud, Yir§, 

* Tn noetra ptoteetio, to noetrmn reftiglain, ta noetnun onioom reme^am, 
■aMdlom, et aiylimi.— /n Faio NaL B. V, Conoio m. 

* Ihtaere, O homo» eoniiliam Dei, agnoeoe conellirim lapientiM, ooMlHaa 
pl«tatis....1ledemptanM homannm genni, aniTenam pretiam eootnlH ta 
MaTlHm.— ^SJCTTtt. <to Nat, 

>* Fkioiet et propltiatoriiim de aino mnadlMima Imi 

iH^pmmkUr-^Mmod, xxf. 17, tt. 

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86 omt HOPS. 

good flows to as.'^^ And therefore, before tbe Divine 
Word took flesh in the womb of Mary, He sent an 
archangel to ask her consent : because He willed that 
the world should receive the Incarnate Word through 
her, and that she should be the source of every good. 
Honce St. Irena eus remarks, that as £ve was seduced, 
by a fallen angel, to flee from God, so Mary was led to 
receive God into her womb, obeying a good angel ; and 
thus, by her obedience, repaired Eve's disobedience, and 
became her advocate, and that of the whole human 
race. ' If Eve disobeyed God, yet Mary was persuaded 
to obey G^d, that the Virgin Mary might become the 
advocate of the virgin Eve. And as the human race 
was bound to death through a virgin, it is saved through 
a Virgin." 

And B. Raymond Jordano also says, ' that every 
good, every help, every grace that men have received 
and will receive from God until the end of time, came, 
and will come, to them by tbe intercession and through 
the bands of Mary.'^^ The devout Blosius, then, might 
well exclaim, ' Mary, thou who art so loving and 
gracious towards all who love thee, tell me, who can be 
80 in&tuated and unfortunate as not to love theef Thou 
in the midst of their doubts and difficulties, enlight- 
enest the minds of all who, in their afflictions, have 
recourse to thee. Thou encouragest those who fly to 
thee in time of danger ^ thou succourest those who call 
iqpon thee ; thou, after thy Divine Son, art the certain 
salvation of thy faithful servants. Hail, then, hope 
of those who are in despair ; succour of those who 

*> Qaooiroa D. Andreas Cretensis Virginem alloqaens ait, ' mandnt to 
Mvm propitiatoriatn commune amplfHstitar."— 7n Dorm. S. M. Serm. iii. Indt- 
^entiMimus Dominus nobis loquitar ad cor ; inde responsa dat benignnitatig 
•t TeniiBf inde se nobis propitiatam ostendit, inde delicta condouat et munera 
divina largitur : inde omne nobis bonam emAuat—PaccivcheUi ExciL zz. iu 
SaUU, Ang. 

^ Et sioat ilia 8<)daota est ut effa^ret Denm, sio hseo snasa est obediry 
X>«o, uti virginis £▼» Virgo Maria flevet advooata. Et quemadmodam iw 
Irlotam est mor^i genas humanum per virginem, solvatur per Tirgib9m. 
A Iren, ado, £bere$. lib. v. c. 19. 

^Per ip«un, et in ipsa, et cam ipsa, et ab ipsa, habet mundiu ei mm, 
!■«■ «ift omM bonam.—/?e OonUmpi. B. M, in ProL 

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ftre abanaonecL Mary, thou art all-powerful for 
thy Divine Son, to honour thee, complies instantly with 
all thy desires.'^* 

Saint Germanufl, recognising in Mary the source of 
all our good, and that she delivers us fiom every evil, 
th'is invokes her: '0, my sovereign Lady, delight of 
my soul, heavenly dew quenching my burning thirst, 
liquid flowing from God into my parched heart, bright 
light in the midst of my souFs darkness, guide of my 
poor judgment, strength of my weakness, covering of 
my nudity, treasure of my poverty, remedy for incurable 
wounds, wiper away of tearp, end of sighs, reveraer of 
misfortunes, lightener of grief, loosener of my bonds, 
my hope of salvation, listen to my prayers, have mercy 
on my sighs, and reject not my lamentations; have 
mercy on me, and may my tears move thee ; be moved 
by thine own feeling of compassion towards me, who 
art the Mother of God, the lover of men, hear and grant 
my prayers, fulfil my petition /^^ 

We need not, then, be sui-prised that Saint Anto- 
ninus applies the following verse of the Book of Wis- 
dom to Mary: "Now all good things came to me to- 
gether with her.''^^ For as this Blessed Virgin is the 
Mother and dispenser of all good things, the whole 
world, and more particularly each individual who lives 
in it as a devout client of this great Queen, may say 
with truth, that with devotion to Mary, both he and 

" Quia te non amet? To enim in rebas dubiis es charum lumen, to mw- 
roribofl tolatiam, in aogustiis relevamenf in periculis et tentationibus refa* 

l^um. Tu poet unigenitum filium tunm certa fideliura saltu Ave de« 

■perantiam spes opportana, et auxilia destitatorum adjatrix pneeentissima 
Maria, cujus honori tantum tribuit filius, ut qaidqaid volueria mox liat.— ' 
Parad, An, p. 2, oap. iv. 

** O domina mea, yoluj^as mei animi, sBstoB quern patiw divina irrorstiu, 
oordi m^o exsiocato gutta manans a Deo, tenebrosae animae mese lampaa 
iplendidissima, dax egenis meis consiliis, imbecillitatis robur, nuditatii 
operimeutum, paupertatis divitiae, insanabilium vulnerum medela, lachry- 
tnaram abstersio, auspiriorum finis, oalamitatum in res gecundas mutatio, 
dolorum levamen, meorum vinculonim solutio, salutis meaa spe*; preoet 
meaa exaadi, nriiserere meorum gemituum, et lamentatiooea meas ne abji» 
oias ; miserere mei, et flectant te meaa lachrymw : movt-at te miperatirak 
feon affectus erga me, qnoB amantis homines Dei es Mater ; respioe et anna« 
•upplicationibus meis, imple petitionem mema.—Oi'at. ii in Paueni. B, T. 

' Vtaanuit autem mihi omnia bona paritar com ilia. — Sap. tU. 11. 

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the world have obtained everything good and perfect 
The Saint thus expresses his thought : ' She is the 
Mother of all good things, and the world can truly say, 
that with her (that is, the niost Blessed Virgin) it has 
received all good things.'^"'' And hence the Blessed 
Abbot of Celles expressly declares, ' that when we find 
Mary, we find all.'^^ Whoever finds Mary finds every 
good thing, obtains all graces ^nd all virtues; for by 
ner powerful intercession she obtains all that is neces- 
sary to enrich him with Divine grace. In the Book of 
Proverbs Mary herself tells us that she possesses all the 
riches of God, that is to say. His mercies, that she may 
dispense them in favour of her lovers : " With me are 
riches . . . and glorious riches . . . that I may enrich 
them that love me."^^ And therefore Saint Bonaven- 
ture says, * That we ought all to keep our eyes con- 
stantly fixed on Mary's hands, that through them we 
may receive the graces that we desire.'^ 

O, how many who were once proud have become 
humble by devotion to Mary ! how many who were 
j^assionate have become meek ! how many in the midst 
of darkness have found light ! how many who were in 
despair have found confidence ! how many who were 
lost have found salvation by the same powerful means ! 
And this she clearly foretold in the house of Elizabeth, 
in her own sublime canticle : " Behold, fi:om henceforth 
all generations shall call me blessed.'^^ And Saint 
Bernard, interpreting her words says, ' All generationa 
call thee blessed, because thou hast given life and glory 
to all nations,^ for in thee sinners find pardon, and the 

1' Omninm bononim mater est, et venenint mlhi omnia bona mun Ilki 
•ellioet virgrine, potest dioere mnndas.— P. iv. Tit. zr. cap 20. 

1" Inventa Virgine Maria, invenitiir omne bonam.— 2>e OonUmpL B. if* 

(b Pro!. 

^'Meoam sunt devitis, et gloria, opes saperba at ditem dilig«ntet 

MO.— Prov. viii. 18, 21. 

^ Ocali omniam nostrum ad manns Mari» semper debent resptoere, a 
per manus ejus aliqnid boni acoipiamus. — In Spec, leot iii 
'1 Eoce enim ex hoc beatam me dioent omnefl..geDeratioiiet.— Xtte. L 4M 

** Ex hoc beatam te dicent omnet gvnexatlones, arm onnnnM i 

llMdbiit yitam etgUniM^ grooiitL Smrm U inrwtte. 

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jofi persefVetanoe in the grace of 6od/^ Hence Om 
devout Lanspergios makes our Lord thus address the 
world : ' Men, poor children of Adam, who live sur- 
rounded by so many enemies^and in the midst of 00 
many trials, endeavour to honour my Mother and yours 
in a special manner : for I have given Mary to the 
world, that she may be your model, and that from her 
you may learn to lead good lives ; and also that she 
may be a refuge to which you can fly in all your afflic- 
tions and trials. I have rendered this, my Daughter, 
guch that no one need fear or have the least repug- 
nance to have recourse to her ; and for this purpose I 
have created her of so benign and compassionate a 
disposition, that she knows not how to despise any one 
who takes refuge with her, nor can she deny her favor 
to any one who seeks it. The mantle of her mercy is 
open to all, and she allows no one to leave her feet 
without consoling him.' ^ May the immense goodness 
of our God be ever praised and blessed for having 
given us this so great, so tender, so loving a Mother 
and Advocate. 

God, how tender are the sentiments of confldence 
expressed by the enamoured St. Bonaventure towards 
Jesus our most loving Redeemer, and Mary our most 
loving Advocate ! He says, * Whatever God forsees 
to be my lot, I know that'He cannot refuse Himself 
to anyone who loves Him and seeks for Him with his 
whole heart. I will embrace Him with iny love ; and 
if He does not bless me, I will still cling to Him as 
closely that He will be unable to go without me. If 
I can do nothing else, at least I will hide myself in 

* In te. . . .Insti ffratiam, peooatores yen lam InTenerant in vtentom.— A 
Jlent. Serm, ii. in Pentee. 

M Matrem meam devotione pnecipna venerare Ego enim hano mnndo 

dedi, in 8anctittoKinno<)entiie, ao piiritatts exemplam, in singulare patrool* 
niotn. et in pnesidium tutigsimum, at sit tribulatis ao desolatis omDibof 
immanitatis asylum, qaam nomo horret, nemo formidet, nftmo ad earn aooe- 
dere trepidet. Propterea namqae adeo feci earn mitem, adeo piam, adeo 
nkerioordem, adeo deniqae benignam et clementem, nt neminem asper- 
netnr, nulli te neget ; omnl)}U8 pietatiik sinum apertum tec^at ; neminem • 
■0 ndire triitem, aat non eonfolatam ■iiMie.-^Ci). Min. Ub. i. AMa^ €km 

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90 otTK nopx 

Us wounds, and taking up my dwelling there, it will 
be in Himself alone that He will find me.' And the 
Saint concludes, ' If my Redeemer rejects me on ac- 
count of my sins, and drives me from His sacred feet, 
I will cast myself at those of His beloved Mother 
Mary, and there I will remain prostrate until she hai 
obtained my forgiveness ; for tins Mother of Mercy, 
knows not, and has never known, how to do otherwise 
than compassionate the miserable, and comply with 
the desires of the most destitute who fly to her for 
succour ; and therefore,' he says, ^ if not by duty, at 
least by compassion, she will engage her Son to par- 
don me.'^ 

* Look down upon us, then,' let us exclaim, in the 
words of Euthymius, 'look down upon us, most 
compassionate Mother j cast thine eyes of mercy on 
us, for we are thy servants, and in thee we have placed 
all our confidence.'^ 


In the fourth part of the treasury of the Rosary, ai 
the eighty-fifth miracle, it is related that there was a 
gentleman who was tenderly devoted to the Divine 
Mother. He had erected an oratory in his dweUing, 
and there he used often to remain in prayer before a 
beautiful statue of Mary^ and this not only during the 
day, but frequently at night he rose for the purpose 
of honouring his beloved Lady. His wife (for he was 
married), who was otherwise a person of great piety, 
preceiving that her husband rose from his bed in the 
silence of the night, left his room, and did not return 
for a considerable time, became jealous, and suspected 

<* Qaantnmcninqae me Deos prasciverit, scientta constat mihi, et adoa 
quod seipsum negaie non potest Eum ergo totis yisceribos amplezabo, . . 
et SI non mihi benediJLerit, non ipsum dtmittam ;. . . .et sine me recedere nor 

^alebit In cavernis vulnemm suoram me abscondam, ibique quietus 

latitabo, nee extra se me inveuire potent Ant ad matris suaa pedns pro* 

▼olutus stabo et ut milii veniam imi^tret implurabo Ipsa enim non 

misoreri ignorat, et miseris non satisfacere nnnquam sivit Ideoqne ox 

tompassione maxima mihi ad indulgentiam suum onicom Filitun fascii- 

Mbit —P. 3, SHm, Div. Am. o. xiii. 

** Respioe, O Mater miserieordiosissima, respioo servo* tuo* , U to mim^ 
tQ»MB ^ftm Boslnua ooUoMTimos.— 4|>. Swr, 31 Aof. 

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otJit fiopl^ 91 

(liAt an w&i not right. One day, in ordei to deliver 
herself from her anxiety, she asked her husband if by 
chance he loved another. The gentleman replied, with 
a "toile, ' You must know that I love the most delight* 
fill lady in the world. To her I have given my heart, 
and I could rather die than cease to love her ; and did 
you but know her, you would tell me to love her still 
more.' He was, of course, speaking of the most Blessed 
Virgin, whom he loved thus tenderly. His wife, how- 
ever, became more and more uneasy, and again ques- 
tioned him, that she might assure herself of the correct- . 
ness of her suspicions : she asked him if by chance it 
was to visit this lady that he rose every night and left 
his room. That gentleman, quite unaware of the troub- 
led state of his wife's mind, answered in the affirma- 
tive. The lady then felt certain of that which she had 
falsely suspected, and, blinded by passion, one night 
that her husband, as usual, left the room, took a knife, 
and in despair cut her throat, and shortly expu*ed. The 
gentleman, after finishing his devotions, returned to 
his room, but, getting into bed, he found it wet. He 
called his wife, but received no answer. He shook her, 
but in vain. He then got a light, and saw the bed 
saturated with blood, and his wife with her throat cut, 
and a coi*pse. In an instant the truth flashed across 
his mind, and he perceived that in a fit of jealousy she 
had destroyed herself. He instantly locked the door 
of the room, returned to the chapel, and there prostrate 
before the image of Mary, sobbing bitterly, he cried 
out : ^ My Mother,' see, see, ray affliction. If thou dost 
not relieve me, to whom can I have recourse ? Consider 
that by coming to honom* thee I have incurred the mis- 
fortune of seeing my wife dead and eternally lost. My 
Mother, thou canst remedy this ; do so.' And who- 
ever invoked this Mother of mercy with confidence 
without obtaining what he ai^ed ? For scarcely had 
he finished his prayer when he heard a servant calling 
him ; ' Sir, go to your room ; for your lady wants you? 
The gentleman, in the excess of his joy, could searoel/ 


4' p\i^ 

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BscrnoK I. Mar^f is the Hope qf dU 

MoBSBN heretios cannot endure that we should salutt 
and call Mary our Hope : ' Hadl; our Hope !' They say 
that God alone is our hope ; and th^ He carses those 
who put theur trust in creatures in these words of the 
prophet Jeremias : " Cursed be the man that trustethin 
man. '' ^ Mary, they exclaim, is a creature ; and how can 
a creature be our hope f This is what the hQretics say ; 
but in spite of it, the holy Church obliges all ecclesias- 
tics and religious each day to raise their voices and in 
name of all the faithful, invoke and call Mary by 
the sweet name of ' our Hope,' — ^the Hope of all. 

The angelical Doctor Saint Thomas says,' that we 
can place our hope in a person in two ways : as a prin- 
<npal cause, and as a mediate one. Those who hope for 
a favour from a king, hope it from him as lord ; thej 
hope for it from his minister or favourite as an inter- 
cessor. If the favour is granted, it comes primarily 
from the king, but it comes through the instrumentality 
of the favourite ; and in this case he who seeks the 
favour is right in calling his intercessor his hope. The 
King of Heaven, being infinite goodress, desires in the 
highest degree to enrich us with His graces ; but, be- 
cause confidence is requisite on our part, and in ordef 
io increase it in us, He has given us His own Mothef 

• Hatodiotai homo qui oonlldit in lioiiiiiM.— JSmwm. zvk |L 

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otm HOPS. M 

me bom tbe Lord. Bnt thy compassion lor the miser* 
»ble, and thy power with Gk>d, far surpass the numbef 
ftnd malice of my sins. It is well known to ail, both 
in heaven and on earth, that whosoever is protected by 
thee is certainly saved. All may forget me, provided 
only that thou dost remember me, O Mother of an 
omnipotent God. Tell Him that I am thy servant; 
tay only that thou defendest me, and I shall be saved. 
O Mary, I trust in thee ; in this hope I live ', in it I 
desire and hope to die, repeating always, ' JeSos is my 
only hope, and after Jesos the most Blessed Virgin 

Section II. Mary is the Hope qf Sinnerg. 

In the first chapter of the Book of Genesis we read 
that '^ Grod made two great lights ; a greater light to role 
the day ; and a lesser light to rule the niffht."* Car- 
dinal Hugo says that * Christ is the greater light to rule 
the just, and Mary the lesser to rule sinners p meaning 
that the sun is a figure of Jesus Christ, whose light is 
enjoyed by the just wh(» live in the clear day of Divine 
grace ; and that the moon is a figure of Mary, by whose 
means those who are in the night of sin are enlightened. 
Since Mary is this auspicious luminary, and is so for 
the benefit of poor sinners, should anyone have been so 
unfortunate as to fall into the night of sin, what is he 
to do f Innocent III. replies, * Whoever is in the niffht 
of sin, let him cast his eyes on the moon, let him mn- 
plore Mary.^ Since he has lost the light of the sun of 
justice by losing the grace of God, let him turn to th« 
Tnoon, and beseech Mary ; and she will certainly give 

"^ Unioa spet mea Jeras et post Jefum Virgo Maria. 

> Feoitqna Dent dao laminaria magna : Inminare majos, at pnMMaC dM, 
i€ laminare minus, at pr«e«et nootL — Otn, i. 16. 

s Lominars mi^ot Chriitas, qai pneeiit diei, id est Jostis ; laminare mini4 
Baata Maria, qu«B prseest peccatoribos. — In L<b. Cfen. ci^. I. 

•Qai....jooet in noota ealp«, xeq>ioiat laiam, dapraoator MariHi 
Jtam.iL4s.lM. A F. 

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^4 otru HOPE. 

him light to see the misery of his state, and strengtl U 
leave it without delay. St. Methodius says ' that by 
the prayers of Mary, almost innumerable sinners art 

One .of the titles which is the most encouraging to 
poor sinners, and under which the Church teases xm 
to invoke Mary in the Litany of Loretto, is that ol 
Refuge of Sinners.' In Judea in ancient times there 
were cities of refuge, in which criminals who fled there 
for protection were exempt from the punishments which 
they had deserved. Nowadays these cities are not stf 
numerous ; there is but one, and that is Manr, of whom 
the Psalmist says, " Glorious things are said of thee, O 
city of God."* But this city differs from the ancient 
ones in this respect — that in the latter all kinds of cri^ 
minals did not find refuge, nor was the protection ex- 
tended to every class of crime ; but under the mantle 
of Mary all sinners, without exception, find refuge for 
every sin that they may have committed, provided only 
that they go there to seek for this protection. ^ I am 
the city of refuge,' says St. John Damascene, in tlw 
name of our Queen, ' to all who fly to me.'* 

And it is sufficient to have recourse to her, for who- 
ever has the good fortune to enter this city need not 
speak to be saved. " Assemble yourselves, and let lis 
enter into the fenced city, and let us be silent there,''* 
to speak in the words of the prophet Jeremias. Thid 
city, says blessed Albert the Great, is the most holy 
Virgin fenced in with grace and glory, * And let xm bt 
silent there,' that is, continues an interpreter,' because 
we dare not invoke the Lord, whom we have offended, 
she will invoke and ask.'® For if we do not presume 

* MarisB virtate «t preoibos pene innumeni peooatomm oonyerdonei flnnti 
m^Paciucck. in Ps. Ixxxvi. exc. 11. 

* Gloriosa dicta sunt de te, civitas Dei.— >P«. Ixzxvi. 3. 

* Ego iis qui ad me oonfoglunt civitas refiigii. — Horn. ii. ^ Dorm. M 

' CoiiTenite, et ingrediamar ciTitatem mnnitam, et ■ileamui ibi.- 
▼iU. 14. 

* Et •ileamuf ibi, qala non audemus deprecari Dominam que 
mm, Md ipia deprecetur et roget— S»6. Mar, in ^•nm.—Ho. S. 

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to ask onr tx)rd to forgive us, it will sufioe Ut entet 
this city and be silent^ for Mary will speak and ask all 
that we require. And for this reason, a devout authoi 
exhorts all sinners to take refage under the mantle ol 
Mary, exclaiming, ^Fly, Adam and Eve, and all yoa 
Iheir children, who have outraged God ; fly, and take 
refuge in the bosom of this good Mother j know you not 
that she is our only city of refuge t ' * the only hope of 
einners,^ as she is also called in a sermon by an ancient 
writer, found in the works of Saint Augustine.^® 

Saint Ephrem, addressing this Blessed Virgin, says^ 
' Thou art the only advocate of sinners, and of all who 
are unprotected.' And then he salutes her in the fol- 
lowing words : ' Hail, refuge and hospital of sinners !'*' 
— ^true refuge, in which alone they can hope for re- 
ception and liberty. And an author remarks that thii 
was the meaning of David when he said, ''For He hath 
hidden me in his tabernacle."^ And truly what can 
this tabernacle of God be, unless it is Mary 1 who is 
called by Saint Germanus, 'A tabernacle made by God, 
in which He alone entered to accomplish the great work 
of the redemption of man.'^^ Saint Basil of Seleucia 
remarks, ' that if God granted to some who were only 
His servants such power, that not only their touch but 
even their shadows healed the sick, who were placed 
for this purpose in the public streets, how much greatet 
power must we suppose that He has granted to her, 
who was not only His handmaid but His Mother f " 

* Fngite, O Adam et Eva, ftigito ipsornm Hberi, et absoondite tos iotai 
rfniun Dei Matris Marise : ipsa est homicvJis oivitas refagii, speii ««*«ioa peo- 
•atonxm. — Benedictiu Fernandez in Lib. Gen. cap. iii. sect 22. 

*^ Spes unica peccatoram. — Serm. de Sanet. int. op. St. Auguttini, L 4$ 
Awtunc B. M. V, 

*' Ave peccaiorum refugiam atque diyereorium. — Be Laud. Virg, 

" Protexit me in absoondito tabernaouli sui. — P». xxvi. 5. 

" Tabernaculam non manufactum sed a Deo fabricatnm, in qnod solni 
Detw Verbam et primus PoDtifex in fine steculorum semel ingresvas est, 

roysticis occulte operaturus in te pro salute omnium. — In Nat, i 
Bet. Mat, ^ 

*^ Siquidem enim Deas tantam servis impertitns est gratiam nt non soliui 
laetu JBgrotos sauarent, sed et umbra ipaius projeotu idem prsDstarent, Pm. 
ponebaut enim medio ipso foro segrotos, etc. Quantam putanduf Matri •••• 

I nrtatem \ iSerm. in S: B«i Own, M, Omt. xxxiz. 

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M otrti uoTA. 

We may indeed say that our Lord bas given us Maty aft 
a public infirmary, in which all who are sick, poor, and 
destitute can be received. But now I ask, in hospitals, 
erected expressly for the poor, who have the greatest 
olaim to admission f Gertanly the most infirm, and 
those who are in the greatest need. 

And for this reason should any one find himself 
devoid of merit and overwhelmed with spiritual 
infirmities, that is to say, sin, he can thus address 
Mary : O Lady, thou art the refage of the sick poor j 
reject me not; for as I am the poorest and the most 
infirm of all, I have the greatest right to be welcomed 
by thee. Let us then cry out with Saint Thomas 
of Villanova, * Mary, we poor sinners know no 
other refuge than thee, for thou art our only hope,^nd 
on thee we rely for our salvation.'^^ Thou art our 
only advocate with Jesus Christ ; to thee we all turn 

In the revelations of St. Bridget, Mary is called the 
'Star preceding the sun ;'^® giving us thereby to under- 
stand, that when devotion towards the Divine Mother 
begins to manifest itself in a soul that is in a state of 
sin, it is a certain mark that before long God will enrich 
it with His grace. The glorious Saint Bonaventure, in 
order to revive the confidence of sinners in the pro- 
tection of Mary, pla^ses before them the picture of a 
tempestuous sea, into which sinners have already fallen 
from the ship of Divine grace ; they are already dashed 
about on every side by remorse of conscience and by 
fear of the judgments of God ; they are without light 
or guide, and are on the point of losing the last breath 
of hope and falling into despair j then it is that our 
liord, pointing out Mary to them, who is commonly 
called the ' Star of the Sea,' raises His voice and says^ 
^ O poor lost sinners, despair not ; raise up your eyesi 

<* HflfoImM alind refoglom nifl te, ta sola ef nnioa ipM nosta, in ooa 
•onfldimai^ tn sola patrooa nottiai adqnam onmet aspioimua. — 8» iiL 4§ Jrfli 

I* Ta M qoui ildaf TidMt ante aotook— tffM. JEMr* Mfw 1^ 

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tni oaflt tliem on this beaatiful star ; broatlie again witl 
confidenoe, for it will sav^ you from this tenipest^ ano 
will goido you into the port of salvation.'*'^ Saint 
Bernard says tbe same tiling : ' If thou wouldst not b6 
lost in the tempest, cast thme eyes on tbe star, and 
invoke Mary.*" And the devout Blosius declares that 
^she is the only refuge of those who have offended 
God,^ the asylum of all who are oppressed by tempta 
tion, calamity, or persecutit n.** This Mother is all 
mercy, benignity, and sweetness, not only to the just, 
but als«) to despaiiing sinnei-s f^ so that no sooner does 
she perceive them coming to her, and seeking lier help 
from their hearts, than she aid* them, welcomes them, 
and obtains their pardon from lier Son.** She knows 
not how to despise any one, however unworthy he may 
be*^ of mercy, and therefore denies her protection to 
none j she consoles all, and is no sooner called upon 
than she helps whoever it maj- be that invokes her.*' 
Sbe by her sweetness often awakens and draws sinners 
to her devotion who are the most at ennaity with Grod 
and the most deeply plunged in the lethargy of sin; 
and then, by the same means, she excites them effectu- 
ally, and prepares them for grace, and thus renders 
them fit for the kingdom of heaven.** God has created 
this His beloved daughter of go compassionate and 
sweet a disposition, that no on e can fear to have recourse 

" Refpirate ad lllam, perditi p«eoaftora ; •! ptidiMtt fot ad Indnlgaiitia 
pratom. — S. Banav, in P». xviil. 

'" SI non Tk obnii prooellif . .reaploa ftollam, ^roaa Marianu- Si t p, Mittm 
ui H<m. ii. 

^ Ipsa peocantiam liDgiilara reftigiimi.^>Jfi (km, TU, 8p, OKfi, xyUL 

^ Ipsa omniam, qaos teatatio, oalaaiitaa, ant peraeoatio aliqaa nrget ta. 
tfielmain asylum. — lb. 

*> Tota mitis est, tota serena, tota snaTis, tota benfgna, noa •olom Jnttk 
St perfectis, veram etiam peoeatoribas ao desperatis.— il>. 

** Qoos, nt ad se ex oorde olamare conspexerit, statim a^Jorai, sudpll 
ioivet, et metaendo Jadioi materna fldncla reoonoiliat— ii. 

** NaUnm aspematiu^ nalli se n^fat : omnes oonsolatnr, omnlbos dnani 
tiatatif aparit, et vel tenniter invooata, presto adest— i&. 

** Boa infenlta bonitate atqae dnlcedine s»pe eos, qui Deo minns afflel* 
Imtnr, ad im eoltnm blande alltoit, potenteiqae exoitat: otperhi^iisoeiBodl 
ftodiam pnqiaNBfcir ad gmtiam, et tandem apti reddantor refno < * 

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Icher.'*' The pious author concludes in these words: *It 
is impossible for any one to perish who attentively, and 
with humility, cultivates devotion towards this Divine 

In Ecclesiasticus Mary is called a plane-tree : ''As 
a plane-tree I was exalted."^ And she is so called 
that sinners may understand that as the plane-tree 

fives shelter io travellers from the heat of the sun, so 
oes Mary invite them to take shelter under her pro- 
tection from the wrath of God, justly enkindled against 
them. Saint Bonaventure remarks that the prophet 
Isaias complained of the times in which he lived, say- 
ing, " Behold thou art angry, and we have sinned . . . 
there is none • . . that riseth up and taketh hold of 
thee.''^ And then he makes the following commen- 
tary : ' It is true, Lord, that at the time there was 
none to raise up sinners and withhold thy wrath, for 
Mary was not yet bom ;' ' before Mary,' to quote the 
Saint's own words, 'there was no one who could thus 
dare to restrain the arm of God.'^ But now, if God is 
angry with a sinner, and Mary takes him under her 
protection, she withholds the avenging arm of her Son, 
and saves him.^ ' And so,' continues the same Saint, 
' no one can be found more fit for this office than Mary, 
who seizes the sword of Divine justice with her own 
hands to prevent it from falling upon and punishing 
the sinner.'^^ Upon the same subject blessed Albert 
the Great says that ' God, before the birth of Mary^ 
complained by the mouth of the prophet Ezechiel tliai 

^ Talii est, talis a Deo &ota est, talis nobis data est. . . .c4 nemo ad ••■ 
•eeedere trepidet — In Can. Vit. Sp. cap. xviiL 

** Fieri non potest, ut pereat, qui MarisB sednlus et hnmiiis evdUxt ftMrtt. 

" Qt^wi platanus exaltata Bnm.—EccL xziv. 19. 

>* Ecoe tn iratos es, et peooavimtis non est qni oonsargat, «t teueal 

to^-vfo. hdv. 5, 7. 

" Ante Mariam non fait qui sio detioero Dominnm aadeiet— /« Sp$$, 

M. Til. 

"* Detlnet Filitun, ne peooatores penmtiat— 75. 
*> Nemo tam idoneos Domina, qui gladio Domini pM Bobia i 
iliM. at to Dei amantisthM -^bi laot tI. 

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there, was no one to rise up and witLliold Him from 
chastising sinners, but that He ooold find no one, for 
this office was reserved for onr Blessed Lady, who 
withholds His arm until He is pacified.'^ An ancient 
writer encourages sinners, saying, '0 sinner, be nol 
discouraged, but have recourse to Mary in all thy 
necessities; call her to thine assistance, for thoa 
wilt always find her ready to help thee ; for such 
is the Divine will that she should help all in every 
kind of necessity.'^ This Mother of Mercy has so 
great a desire to save the most abandoned sinners^ 
that she herself goes in search of them, in order to 
help them; and if they have recourse to her, she 
knows how to find the means to render them accept- 
able to God. 

The patriarch Isaac, desiring to eat of some wild 
animal, promised his blessing to his son Esau on his 
procuring this food for him ; but Rebecca, wbo was 
anxious that her other son Jacob should receive the 
blessing, called him and said, " Go thy way to the flock, 
bring me two kids of the best, that I may make of them 
meat for thy father, such as he gladly eateth."^ Saint 
Antoninus says^ ' that Rebecca was a figure of Mary, 
who commands the angels to bring her sinners (meant by 
kids), that she may adorn them in such a way (by obtain- 
ing for them sorrow and purpose of amendment) as to 
render them dear and acceptable to the Lord.' And here 
we may weU apply to our Blessed Lady the words of the 
Abbot Franco : * truly sagacious woman, who so well 
knew how to dress these kids, that not only they are 
equal to, but often superior in flavour to real venison.'* 

" " Quffsivi de eis Tirnm qui interponeret sepem," id est interc^ssionen 
'*cft ttaret oppositus contra me, pro terra," id est peocatore, " ne dissiparem 
cam, et non inyeni," quia hoc reflervatum est Virrini Marise. — Bibl. Mar. in 
Esechiel. Ko. 6. 

*> Ne diffidas, peccator ; sed in cnnctis Mariam sequere et invooa, quaa 
Yolnit Deus in cunctis subvenire. — Paciucch. in Salve B. exc. 7. 

** Pergens ad gregem, affer mihi duos luedoit optimos. — Oen. zxyii. 9. 

» P. 4. 1 15. c. 2.1 2. 

^ Vere sapient mulier, qns sio novit baedos ooqaere, sic condire, at gn 
Ham oaprtarun et oeryorum ootsqnent aut etiam superMt. — ^Lib. UL d$ 
. X>. 

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The Blessed Virgin herself revealed to Saint Bridget 
' tbat there is no sinner in the world, however much he 
may be at enmity with Grod, who does not return to 
Him and recover His grace, if he has recourse to her 
and asks her assistance.'^ The same Saint Bridget one 
day heard Jesus Glirist address His Mother, and say 
that ' she would be ready to obtain the grace of God for 
Lucifer himself, if only he humbled himself so &r at 
to seek her aid.'^ That proud spirit will never hum- 
ble himself so far as to implore the protection of Maiy ; 
but if such a thing were possible, Mary would be sufii- 
oiently compassionate, and her prayers would have suf- 
fident power to obtain both forgiveness and salvation 
for him from God. But that which cannot be verified 
with regard to the devil is verified in the case of sin- 
ners who have recourse to this compassionate Mother. 

Noah's ark was a true figure of Maiy ; for as in it 
%l\ kinds of beasts were saved, so under the mantle of 
ViBij all sinners, who by their vices and sensuality are 
already like beasts, find refage; but with this difference, 
as a pious author remarks,^ that 'while the brutes that 
entered the ark remained brutes, the wolf remaining a 
wolf, and the tiger a tiger — ^under the mantle of Mary, 
on the other hand, the wolf becomes a lamb, and the 
tiger a dove.' One day Saint Gertrude saw Mary with 
her mantle open, and under it there were many wild 
beasts of different kinds— leopards, lions, and bears ; 
and she saw that not only our Blessed Lady did not 
drive them away, but that she welcomed and caressed 
them with her benign hand. The Saint understood 
that these wild beasts were miserable sinners, who are 
welcomed by Mary with sweetness and love the moment 
they had recourse to her.^ 

* Nallnf ita sHenatnt ett de Deo — qui fl ma InrooftTtrtt, mm rtritrta* 
ka ad Denm.— >iZeo. lib. ri. cap. 10. 

** Etiam diabolo ezhiberei miMricodiam fl hmnUMer patoret— JZHn 

>* Quod aroaanlmalia iiiieaplt) aiNaaMaitrTaivii— iNwrt wdb. im Art. M§. 

"« BkMiai, OcM. Aa. id. «i«^ L 

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It waSy then, not witbont reason tliat Sunt Bernard 
addressed the Blessed Virgin, saying, ^ Thou, Ladj, 
dost not reject any sinner who approaches thee, how- 
ever loathsome and repugnant he may be. Ifheaaki 
ihy assistance, thoa dost not disdain to extend thy 
compassionate hand to him, to extricate him from the 
golf of despair.'^^ May our God be eternally blessed 
and thanked, most amiable Mary, for having created 
them so sweet and benign, even towards the jLost 
miserable sinners! Tnuy unfortunate is he who 
loves thee not, and who, having it in his power 
«o obtain thy assistance, has no confidence \zl .hee. 
He who has not recourse to Mary is lost; but who 
was ever lost that had recourse to the most Blessed 

It is related in the sacred Scriptures that Booz al- 
lowed Buth '' to gather the ears of com, after the reap- 
ers.''^ St. Bonaventare says, ^ that as Ruth found favour 
with Booz, so has Mary found favour with our Lord^ 
and is also allowed to gather the ears of corn after the 
reapers. The reapers followed by Mary are all evan- 
gelical labourers, missionaries, preachers, and confessors, 
who are constantly reaping souls for God. But there 
are some hardened and rebellious souls which are abaa- 
doned even by these. To Mary alone is it granted to 
save them by her powerful intercession.'^ Truly un- 
fortunate are they if they do not allow themselves te 
oe gathered, even by this sweet Lady. They will in- 
deed be most certainly lost and accursed. But, on the 
other hand, blessed is he who has recourse to tlus good 
Mother. * There is not in the world,' says the devout 
Blosius, ' any sinner, however revolting and wicked, 
who is despised or rejected by Mary ; she can, she wills, 

^ Ta peoestorem qnantamlibet iaetidam non horres, neo dflfpidt d ad tt 

•upimTerit To ilium a deepemtionis iMraUuo piamanaretnhis.— 2>4N^. 

mdB. F. 

a CoIflgelMt tploM pott ferga meimtinm.-'Buih ii. 3. 

^ Roth «rgo III oouUf Boos, Maria in oonlif Domini baao gratlMii faiTraii 
«t toM nrfeai, id est animai a maasoribQi d«reUo(iw» eoUinw ad Virtim 
9mit. h^^ptcB. r.M,]eoLT. 

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and slie knows how to reconcile him to her most L« 
loved Son, if only he will seek her assistance.'** 

With reason then, my most sweet Queen, did 
St. John Damascene salute and call thee the ' hope of 
those who are in despair.'*** With reason did St. Law- 
rence Justinian call thee ' the ht>pe of malefactors j *• 
and another ancient writer ' the only hope of sinners.'** 
St. Ephrem calls her ' the safe harbour of all sailing 
on the sea of the world .'*^ This last-named Saint also 
calls her ' the consolation of those who are in despair.'** 
With reason, finally, does St. Bonaventure exhort even 
the desperate not to despair ; and, full of joy and ten- 
derness towards his most dear Mother, ,he lovingly ex- 
claims : ' And who, Lady, can be without confidence 
m thee, since thou assistest even those who are in 
despair t And I doubt not, that whenever we have re- 
course to thee, we shall obtain all that we desire. Let 
him, then, who is without hope, hope in thee.'^ St. 
Antoninus relates'^ that there was a sinner at enmity 
with God, who had a vision in which he found himself 
before the dread tribunal j the devil accused him, and 
Mary defended him. The enemy produced the cata- 
logue of his sins 5 it was thrown into the scales of 
Divine justice, and weighed far more than all his good 
works. But then his great Advocate, extending her 
Bweet hand, placed it on the balance, and so caused it 
to turn in favour of her client ; giving him thereby to 
understand that she would obtain his pardon if he 
changed his life ; and this he did after the vision, and 
was entirely converted. 

^ Nallam tarn exeorobflem peccatorem orbis habet, quern ipsa abomln*- 
tor, et a se repellat, quemque dilectissimo nato sao (modo soam preoetoff 
9p«m) non possit, sciat, et velit reoonciliare. — Sac. An, Fid. p. iiu cap. r. 

** Salve spes degperatorum. t 

*• Delinquentium spes. — Serm. in Nat. B. V. M. 

^ Spei unioa peccatoram.— iS^erm. dt Sanctis int. op. 8. Augustimi. 1 dt 

^ Are portuB tatissime \n hao vita navigantium. — Serm. de Laud. 3. DH 
€ftn. M, 

*• Desperantlam oonsolatio. — Free. V. ajd Dtx Mai. 

** Qnis enim non sperebit in te, qiuD etiam adjuva« desperantei T No» 

4iibito quod, d ad te ▼ene'rimus, habelrlmas quod voIuerimuA. Id !• MfO 
iparat 4oi detperat— i9ui>. Solo. Rtg, *^ P. 4. 1 15. «. :. 6 L 

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OUB HOPS. lot 


Blessed John Herold,** who out of humility called 
himself the Disciple, relates that there was a married 
man who lived at enmity with God. His wife, who 
was a virtuous woman, being unable to engage him to 
ffive up sin, begged him, in the -wretched state in which 
Le was, to practise at least the devotion of saluting our 
Blessed Lady with a ^ Hail Mary ' each time that he 
might pass before her picture. He began to do so. 
One night this wretched man was on his way to commit 
a crime, when he perceived a light at a distance j he 
drew near to see what it was, and found that it was a 
lamp burning before a devout picture of Mary holding 
the child Jesus in her arms. He at once, according to 
custom, said the ^ Hail Mary.' In the same moment, 
he beheld the Divine Infant covered with wounds, from 
which fresh blood was streaming. Terrified, and at the 
same time moved to compassion by this sight, he re- 
flected that it was he who by his sins had thus wounded 
his Redeemer. He burst into tears ; but the Divine 
Infant turned His back to him. Filled with shame, he 
appealed to the most Blessed Virgin, saying: * Mother 
of Mercy, thy Son rejects me ; I can find no advocate 
more compassionate and more powerful than thee, for 
thou art his Mother ; my Queen, do thou help me, and 
intercede for me.' The Divine Mother, speaking from 
the picture, replied : * You sinnera call me Mother of 
Mercy, but at the same time you cease not to make me 
a Mother of Sorrows, by cracifying my Son afresh and 
renewing my son*ows.' But as Mary can never let 
any one leave her feet disconsolate, she began to implore 
her Son to pardon this miserable wretch. Jesus con* 
tinued to show Himself unwilling to do so. The most 
Blessed Virgin, seeing this, placed Him in the niche, 
and prostrating herself before Him, said : * My Son, I 
Wid not leave Thy feet until Thou hast pardoned tbi9 

**I>«Temp. 9,1^ 

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104 OUB HOPS. 

rinner/ * My Mother/ tlien said Jesus, 'I can deny 
thee notlung ; thou wiliest that he should be forgiven ; 
for love of thee I pardon him ; make him come and kiss 
My wounds.' The sinner, sobbing and • weeping, did 
80 ; and as he kissed th^m the wounds were healed* 
Jesus then embraced him, as a mark of forgiveness ; 
and he changed his lif^, which from that time was one 
of holiness ; and he always preserved the most tender 
lov^ and gratitude towards this Blessed Virgin, who 
had obtained him so great a grace* 


O most pure Virgin Mary, I worship thy most holy 
heart, which was the delight and resting-place of God, 
ihy heart overflowing with humility, purity, and divine 
love. I, an unhappy sinner, approach thee with a heart 
all loathsome and wounded. O compassionate Mother, 
disdain me not on this account ; let such a sight rather 
move thee to greater tenderness, and excite thee to 
help me. Do not stay to seek virtues or meiit in me 
before assisting me. I am lost, and the only thing I 
merit is hell. See only my confidence in thee and the 
purpose I have to amend. Consider all that Jesus has 
done and suffered for me, and then abandon me if thou 
canst. I offer thee all the pains of His life j[^ the cold 
that He endured in the stable j His journey into Egypt j 
the blood whicb He shed ; the poverty, sweats, sorrows, 
and death that He endured for me.; and this in thy 
presence. For the love of Jesus, take charge of my 
salvation. Ah my Mother, I will not and cannot fear 
that thou wilt reject me, now that I have recourse to 
thee and ask thy help. Did I fear this, I should be 
offering an outrage to thy mercy, which goes in quest 
of the wretched, in order to help them. Lady, deny 
not thy compassion to one to whom Jesns has not 
denied His blood. But the merits of this blood will 
not be applied to me unless thou recommendest me to 
God. Through thee do I hoj«e for salvation. I aak 

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ouB no^A, lOA 

Hot for ricliesy honours, or earthly goods. I seek only 
the grace of God, love towards thy Son, the accom- 
plishment of His will, and His heaveuly kingdom, that 
I may love Him eternally. Is it possible that thoa wilt 
not hear me t No ; for already thoa hast granted my 
prayer, as I hope ; already thon pray est for me ; already 
thou obtainest me the graces thai I ask ; already thoa 
takest me under thy protection. My Mother, abandon 
me not. Never, never cease to pray for me, until thou 
seest me safe in heaven at thy feet| blessing and tliAok 
ing thee for ever. Amen. 

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Section I. On the promptitude of Mary in assisting 
those who invoice her, 

Trult unfortunate are we poor children of E\e ; for, 
guilty before God of her fault, and condemned to the 
same penalty, we have to wander about in this valley 
of tears as exiles from our country, and to weep over 
our many afflictions of body and soul. But blessed is 
he who, in the midst of these sorrows, often turns to 
the comfortress of the world, to the refuge of the un- 
fortunate, to the great Mother of God, and devoutly 
calls upon her and invokes her ! '^ Blessed is the man 
that heareth me, and that watcheth daily at my gates."^ 
Blessed, says Mary, is he who listens to my counsels, 
and watches continually at the gate of my mercy, and 
invokes my intercession and aid. The holy Church 
carefully teaches us her children with what attention 
and confidence we should unceasingly have recourse to 
this loving protectress ; and for this purpose commands 
a worship peculiar to Mary. And not only this, but 
she has instituted so many festivals that are celebrated 
throughout the year in honour of this great Queen: she 
devotes one day in the week, in an especial manner, to 
her honour : in the divine office all ecclesiastics and 
religious are daily obliged to invoke her in the name of 
all Ghristians; and, mially, she desires that all the 

> BMtua homo, qui aadit me %\ qui TifUat ad fonf meai qnottdto.-'A'm 

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faithful should salute this most holy Mother of Grod 
three times a day, at the sound of the AngeJiis-bell. 
And that we may understand the confidence that the 
holy Church has in Mary, we need only remember that 
in all public calamities she invariably invites all to 
have recourse to the protection of this Divine Mothefi 
by novenas, prayers, processions, by visiting the 
ehnrches dedicated in her honour, and her images. 
And this is what Mary desires. She wishes us always 
to seek her and invoke her aid ; not as if she were 
begging of us these honoors and marks of veneration, 
for they are in no way proportioned to her merit ; but 
she desires them, that by such means our confidence 
and devotion may be increased, and that so she may 
be able to give us greater succour and comfort. * She 
seeks for those,' says So. Bonaventure, 'who approach 
her devoutly and with reverence, for such she loves, 
nourishes, and adopts as her children.'^ 

This last-named Saint remarks, that Euth, whose 
name signifies ' seeing and hastening,' was a figure of 
Mary ; * for Mary, seeing oiur miseries, hastens in her 
mercy to succour us.'^ Novarino adds, that, 'Mary, in 
the greatness of her desire to help us, cannot admit of 
delay, for she is in no way an avaricious . guardian of 
the graces she has at her disposal as Mother of mercy, 
and cannot do other^^ Ise than immediately shower down 
the treasures of her liberality on her servants.'* 

O how prompt is this good Mother to help those 
who call upon her ! " Thy two breasts," says the sacred 
Canticle, " are like two roes that are twins."* Richard 
of Saint Lawrence explains this verse, and says, that as 
roes are swifi; in their course, so are the breasts of Mary 
prompt to bestow the milk of mercy on all who ask it. 

* Ipsa tales qoanrit, qui ad earn devote et roTerenter aooedant Hot enloi 
dUUglt, hos natrit, hos in filios suot giucipit — Stim. Am. p. iii. cap. 16. 

* Videns etiam nostram miseriam est, et festinans ad impeDdendam r 
miserioordiam. — iSipec B. M. V. lect. v. 

* Nesoit neotere moras bene&ciendi cnpida, neo firretiarain avara c 
Mt : tardare nesoit molimina miserioordise mater, benefioenti« stub 1' 
1m sats effosnra. — Nov. Umbr. Virg. exo. IxxiiL 

^ Jhitf nb«m toa siout duo binnuU capre».— C^mil ir. & 

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lOd to tHEB DO tTB Gttt. 

' By tbe light pressnre of a devout salutation and prayet 
they distil large diops.'^ The same author assures us 
that the compassion of Mary is poured out on everyone 
who asks it, even should it be sought for by no other 
prayer than a simple ' Hail Mary.' Wherefore Nova 
rino declares that the Blessed Virgin not only runsbui 
flies to assist him who invokes her. ' She/ says thia 
author, * in the exercise of her mercy, knows not how 
to act differently from God ; for, as He flies at once to 
the assistance of those who beg His aid, faithful to Hig 
promise, " Ask, and you shall receive,''' so Mary,, when- 
ever she is invoked, is at once ready to assist him who 
prays to her. ^ God has wings when He assists His 
own, and immediately flies to them ; Mary also take^^ 
wing when she is about to fly to our aid.'* 

And hence we see who the woman was, spoken of 
in the following verse of the Apocalypse, to whom two 
great eagle's wings were given, that she might fly to the 
desert. " And there were given to the woman two 
wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the de- 
sert?" Ribeira explams these wings to mean the love 
with which Mary always flew to God. ' She has the 
wings of an eagle, for she flies with the love of God.^* 
But the blessed Amadous, more to our purpose, re 
marks that these wings of^ an eagle signify ' the velo- 
city, exceeding that of the Seraphim, with which Maiy 
always flies to the succour of her children.'^* 

This will explain a passage in the Gx^spel of St 
Luke, in which we are told that when Mary went to 
visit and shower graces on Saint Elizabeth and her 
whole family, she was not slow, but went with speed. 
The Gospel says, ^' And Mary, rising up, went into thi 

* OompressioDe leriMima devote salntatioDis et orationii laigm diitUlabU 
mnioidia.— Lib. i. cap. 7. 

* Petite, et aooipiedt.— Joan. xvL 24. 

* Alia atitur Dens, at tois opitoletar, ttatim adrolat ; alas vaaaM el V1rg« 
la noetri aiudliam adrolatora, — Bxcun. 73. 

* Et date tant malieri atediue aqnite ma«rii« nt yolant Iii deee HUB L— 
AjMc zU. 14. 

** Penoaa habet aqalls, qaia. . .9mon Dei volat— »/» Apoe. ziL 4. 

*> Moto oelemmi .senae seiaphim alas ezoedens nbique wds «l 

Hrt» Jooondiiriinaet «1i1floeptiMi— ooourit— ita LmA r*y.HoM.tilk 

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to tHJ£B IK) WX CBl 109 

hillooontry with baste.''^ And this is ni t said of het 
return. For a similar reason, we are told in the sacred 
Ganticles that the hands of Mary are used to the lathe: 
'' her hands are skilful at the wheel/'^^ meaning, says 
Richard of St. Lawrence, ' that as the art of tnming ifl 
the easiest and most expeditious mode of working, so 
also is Mary the most willing and prompt of all the 
Saints to assist her clients.'^^ And truly ^ she has the 
most ardent desire to console all, and is no sooner in- 
voked than she accepts the prayers, and helps.'^ St. 
Bonaventore, then, was right in callmg Mary the ' sal- 
vation of all who call upon her f^^ meaning, that it 
suffices to invoke this Divine Mother in order to be 
saved ; for, according to Richard of St. Lawrence, ^e is 
always ready to help those who seek her aid. ^ Thou 
wilt always find her ready to help thee.'" And Ber- 
nardino de Busto adds, Hhat this great Lady is more 
desiroos to grant us graces than we are desirous to re- 
ceive them.'^ 

Nor should the multitude of our sins diminish our 
confidence that Mary will grant our petitions when we 
oast ourselves at her feet. She is the Mother of mercy } 
but mercy would not be needed did none exist who 
require it. On this subject Richard of St. Lawrence 
remarks, ^ that as a good mother does not shrink from 
applying a remedy to her child infected with ulcers, 
however nauseous and revolting they may be, so also is 
our good Mother unable to abandon us when we have 
recourse to her, that she may heal the wounds caused 
by our sins, however loathsome they may have rendered 

** Ezurgens autem Maris in diebtu allit abiit in montana earn fMtfM^ 
fkms.—Lue. i. 39. 

» Manns ilHof toniatilM.— Cant t. 14. 

M Siont an tornandi promptior est aliis artibni. do Maria ad benwibdi 
dom promtior est omnibos Sanctis. — De Laud. Vtrg. lib. t. cap. 9. 

^ Omnes oonsolatnr et tsI tMuiter invooata pmsto adest— Cton. YM, 

4pira. 019. 18. 

** Tn salos te inyocantinm.— ffym. de B. V. adinuL Tk Dtwm, 

" niTenies semper paratam aozifiari. t 

^ Plos desiderat ipsa fiMere tibi bonnm qnaoi to 1 

fllWfc Jfar.p.iiig^m.g<toiira<.A V. 

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110 I'D THEE ho WE CUt, 

ubJ^ This is exactly wliat Mary gave St. Gertrude io 
ondersiand, when she showed herself to her with her 
mantle spread out to receive all who have recourse to 
her. At the same time the Saint was told that ' Angela 
constantly guard the clients of this Blessed Virgin from 
the assaults of hell.'^ 

This good Mother's compassion is so great; and tLe 
love she bears us is such, that she does not even wait 
for our prayers in order to assist us j but, as it is ex- 
pressed m the Book of Wisdom, " she preventeth them 
that covet her, so that she first showeth herself untc 
them.'^^ Saint Anselm applies these words to Mary, 
and says that she is beforehand with those who desure 
her protection. By this we are to understand that she 
obtains us many favours from God before we have re- 
course to her. For this reason Richard of Saint Victor 
remarks, that she is called the moon, ^'fair as the 
moon,'^ meaning, not only that she is swift as the 
moon in its course, by flying to the aid of those who 
invoke her, but that she is still more so, for her love foi 
us is so tender, that in our wants she anticipates our 
prayers, and her mercy is more prompt to help us than 
we are to ask her aid.^ * And this arises,' adds the 
saiiic Richai'd, ' from the fact that the heart of Mary is 
80 filled with compassion for poor sinners, that she no 
sooner sees our miseries than she pours her tender mer- 
cies upon us. Neither is it possible for this benigD 
Queen to behold the want of any soul without immeai- 
fttely assisting it.'^ 

Maiy, even when living in this world, showed ai 

I* Nod enim Hater haec dedignatur pecoaiores, siout neo bona Mater lll!iua 
■Oftbiosam, quia propter pecoatores &ctam se reoolit miserioordte genitrkMai 
Ubi enim non est miseria, miserioordia non habet looum. — Dc Xond. Fii^ 
Mb. iT. cap. 22. 

*> JUv. lib. iv. cap. 49 
i '1 Pneoocupat, qui t \ oonoupiacunt, at illis se prior ostendat — Sajp. tL 14. 

*• Pnlchra ut tuna— Canf. vi. 9. 

" Velocius ocourrit ejus pietas, quam inrooetor, et oaut 
idoiTiat.~/n Cant, cap, xxiii. 2. 

** Adeo pietate replentur ubera tua, at alio^jas miserlie notitia i „ 

ftmdant miserioordlsB : D«<^puMis misexias scire, et non sabTenire.— /« Omi. 
910. zziiL 

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TO tMeb i)0 WE CRt, 111 

khe marriage-feast of Cana the great cotnpassioQ that 
ehe would afterwards exercise towards us in our neoes- 
fiitiesy and which now, as it were, forces her to have pity 
on and assist us, even before we aak her to do so. In the 
second chapter of St. Luke we read that at this feast the 
compassionate Mother saw the embarrassment in which 
Ihe bride and bridegroom were, and that they were quite 
ashamed on seeing the wine fail ; and therefore, with- 
out being asked, and listening only to the dictates of 
her compassionate heart, which could never behold 
the afflictions of others without feeling for them, she 
begged her Son to console them simply by laying their 
distress before Him : " they have no wine.'^ No 
sooner had she done so, than our Lord, in order to 
eatisfy all present, and still more to console the com- 
passionate heart of His Mother, who had asked the 
favour, worked the well-known miracle by which He 
changed the water, brought to Him in jars, into wine. 
From this NoTarino argues, that ' if Mary, unasked, 
is thus prompt to succour tbe needy, how much more 
80 will she be to succour those who invoke her and 
ask for her help T^ 

Should there be any one who doubts as to whether 
Mary will aid him if he has recourse to her. Innocent III. 
thus reproves him : * Who is there that ever, when 
in the night of sin, had recourse to this sweet I^ady 
without being relieved V^ ' And who ever,' exclaims 
•he blessed Eutychian, * faithfully implored thy all-pow- 
erful aid and was abandoned by theef^ Indeed, 
110 one : for thou canst relieve the most wretched, and 
save the most abandoned. Such a case certainlj 
never did and never will occur. 'I am satisfied,' 
says St. Bernard, ^ that whoever has had recourse to 

* Vinam non habent — Joan. il. 3. 

" Si tiun prompta et oita ad auxiliam ferendam oiunt non qmMita, qont 
Noolaita prottitara est ^—Exc. Ixxii. 
'' Quia . . . de nocte invocavit earn, et non est ezanditas ab ea. — Serti^ ii. 

" Qnis . . . Domina mea, Immaculata Virgo, tperaTit in t« et c 
«rtt ant quif hominum precatus est oronipotentiam a<^utorii tai, et 
tm mL^BoUomO. Mtu. Ftb, torn. L in Viia S. Tkm^ 

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lis to TKkk BO WIS est. 

(kee, O Blossed Virgui, in his wants, and can retnetn- 
ber that he did so in vain, should no more speak of or 
praise thy mercy .'^ 

' Sooner/ says the devout Blosius, ' would heaven 
and earth be destroyed than would Mary fail to assist 
any one who asks for her help, provided he does so with 
i good intention and with confidence in her.'^ Saint 
Anselm, to increase our confidence, adds, that ' when 
we have recourse to this Divine Mother, not only we 
nay be sure of her protection, but that often we shall 
i)e heard more quickly, and be thus preserved, if we 
liave recourse to Mary and call on her holy name, than 
we should be if we called on the name of Jesuis our 
Saviour f and the reason he gives for it is, * that to 
Jesus, as a Judge, it belongs also to punish ; but mercy 
alone belongs to the Blessed Virgin as a patroness/ 
Meaning, that we more easily find salvation by having 
recourse to the Mother than by going to the Son — ^not 
flfl if Mary was more powerful than her Son to save us, 
lor we know that Jesus Christ is our only Saviour, and 
diat He alone by his merits has obtained and obtains 
salvation for us ] but it is for this reason : that when 
we have recourse to Jesus, we consider Him at the 
same time as our Judge, to whom it belongs also to 
chastise ungrateful souls, and therefore the confidence 
necessary to be heard may fail us ; but when we go to 
Mary, who has no other office than to compassionate 
OS as Mother of mercy, and to defend us as our advo- 
cate, our confidence is more easily established, and is 
often greater. ' We often obtain more promptly what 
we ask by calling on the name of Mary than by in- 
voking that of Jesus. Her Son is Lord and Judge of 
all, and discerns the merits of each one ; and therefore 
if He does not immediately grant the prayers of all. He 
is just. When, however, the Mother's name is invoked, 
though the merits of* the suppliant are not such as to 

* Sileat miaerioordiam tnam, Virgo Beata, li qnis est qui Invooatam to te 
MoeMitatibai sais sibi memiDerit defaiaBe.—Serm. iv. in Assump, B. V, 

•** Oitiot ooelam cum terra pdrierint, quam to, aUqoem ferio *to f 
HUH toA «p« darttnn,— Omot. FuHL etp. nxr. 

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jeeenre that liis prayer should be granted, those of the 
liother supply that be may receive.'^^ 

' Many things/ says Nicephoras, ' are asked from 
God, and are not granted : they are asked from Mary, 
ftnd are obtain'^d.' And how is this t It is ^ because 
God has thus decreed to honor his Mother.'^ 

Saint Bridget heard our Lord make a most sweet 
ftnd consoling promise ; for in the 50th chapter of the 
first book of her Revelations, we read that Jesus ad- 
dressed His Mother in the following words : * Thou 
shalt present me with no petition that shall be refused* 
My Mother, ask what thou wilt, for never will I refuse 
thee anything ^ and know/ he added, ' that I promise 
graciously to hear all those who ask any favour of Me 
in thy name, though they may be sinners, if only they 
have the will to amend ^eir lives.*^ The same thing 
was revealed to Saint Gertrude, when she heard our 
Divine Eedeemef assure His Mother, ^that in His 
omnipotence He granted her power to show mercy to 
sinners who invoke her in whatever manner- she might 

Let all, then, say, with full confidence in the 
words of that beautiful prayer addressed to the Mothra 
of mercy, and commonly attributed to St. Bernard, ' Re- 
member, most pious Virgin Mary, that it never was 
heard of in any age that any one having recourse to th' 



protection was abandoned.'^ Therefore forgive me^ 

" VeloeiOT est nonnnnquam talut memonto nomine Maris, qoam IvTOoato 
BiHnine Domini Jesa .... Filitis ejus Dominos ett et judex omninm diaoer* 
•ens merita singulonun, dum igitur ipse a qaovia too nomine inyooatiit, noa 
•tatim exaudit, profecio Id Juste fiacit. Inyocato autem nomine matria, eM 
merita inyooantis non merentur, ut exaudiatur : merita tamen mataris inttT' 
eedunt ut exaudiatur. — S. Arts, de Exc. V. o. 6. 

" Mnlta petuntnr a Deo, et non obtinentur : multa petuntor a Maria. M 
obtinentor ; non quia potentior, sed auia Deus earn deoreyit fie honoimr8.-«> 
Niceph. Ap. P. Pepe, Orandez, &c. t 

*" Nulla erit petitio tua ad me, qu» non exaadiator. Et per te onmet, qui 

Eetunt misericordiam cum yoluntate emendandi, gratiam habebont — Bin, 
b. i. cap. 50. 

** Ex omnipotentia mea, Mater, tibi oonoessi potestatem propitiandl pe*- 
latis omnium qui deyote inyocant tue pietatit anxilium, qualioumqae niod* 
placet tibi.— i?fv. lib. iy. cap. 53. 

** Meroorara O piissima Virffo Maria, non eue auditum a MBonlo qoMi* 
foam ad tua burrentem pne^a, tua imploraotem i^o^dUa, to* pttoatovi 
fnftlifai, MM dereliotmo. 

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114 XO THEE DO WE en Y. ^ 

Maiy, if I say that I will not be the first aofortuiute 
creature who has ever had recourst^co thee and was 


We read in his Life that Saint Francis of Sales ex 
perienced the efficacy of this prayer. When he was 
about seventeen years of age ne was residing in Paris, 
where he was pursubg bis studies. At the same time 
he devoted himself to exercises of piety and to the hoi? 
lave of Grod, in which he found the joys of paradise. 
Our Lord, in order to try him, and to strengthen the 
bands which united hira to Himself, allowed the evil 
spirit to persuade him that all he did was in vain, as 
he was already condemned in the eternal decrees of 
God. The darkness and spiritual dryness in which 
God was pleased at the same time to leave him (for he 
was then insensible to all the sweeter thoughts of the 
goodness of God), caused the temptation to have greater 
power over the heart of the holy youth : and, indeed, 
it reached such a pitch that his fears and interior deso- 
lation took away his appetite, deprived him of sleep, 
made him pale and melancholy ; so much so, that he 
excited the compassion of all who saw him. 

As long as this terrible storm lasted, the Saint could 
only conceive thoughts and utter words of despondency 
and bitter grief. ' Then,' said he, ' I am to be deprived 
of the grace of my God, who hitherto has shown Him- 
self so lovely and sweet to me ? Love, Beauty, to 
which I have consecrated all my affections, I am no 
longer to enjoy thy consolation ! Virgin, Mother of 
God, the fairest amongst all the daughters of Jerusalem, 
then I am never to see thee in heaven ! Ah, Lady, if 
I am not to behold thy beautiful countenance in Para- 
dise, at least permit me not to blaspheme thee in hell ! 
Such were the tender sentiments of that afflicted, but 
at the same time loving heart. The temptation had 
lasted a month, when it pleased our Lord to deliTW 

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liim by the means of that comfortless of the world, the 
most Blessed Mary, to whom the Saint bad some time 
before consecrated his virginity, and in whom, as he 
declared, he had placed all his hopes. One evening, 
on retnming home, he entered a church, and saw a 
tablet hanging to the walL He read it, and foimd the 
following well-known prayer, commonly called ' of St. 
Bernard ^ * Remember, O most pious Virgin Mary, that 
k nevOT has been heard of in any age, that any one 
having recourse to thy protection was abandoned.' 
Falli^ on his kness before the altar of the Divine 
Mother, he recited this prayer with tender fervour, • 
renewed his vow of chastity, promised to say the Rosary 
every day, and then added : ' My Queen, be my ad • 
Tocate with thy Sony, whom I dare not approach. M}' 
Mother, if I am so unfortunate as not to be able to 
love my Lord in the next world, and whom I know to 
be so worthy of love, at least do thou obtain that I 
may love Him in this world as much as possible. This 
is the grace that I ask and hope for &om thee.' 
Having thus addressed the Blessed Virgin, he cast 
himself into the arms of divine mercy, and resigned 
himself entirely to the will of God. Scarcely had he 
finished his prayer, when in an instant he was de- 
* Hvered from his temptation by his most sweet Mother, 
He immediately regained the peace of his soul, and 
with it his bodily health ; and from that time forward 
lived most devout to Mary, whose praises and mercy 
he constantly extolled, both in his sermons and writings 
during the remainder of his life. 


O Mother of God, Queen of angels and Hope of 
men, give ear to one who calls upon thee and has re- 
course to thy protection. Behold me this day prostrate 
at thy feet ; I, a miserable slave of hell, devote my- 
self entirely to thee. I desire to be for ever thy ser- 
nmt I offer mvself to serve and honour thee to the 

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utmost of my power during the whole of my life. I 
know that the service of one so vile and miserable can 
be no honom* to thee, since I have so grievously offend- 
ed Jesus, thy Son and my Redeemer. But if thou 
wilt accept one so unworthy for thy servant, and by 
thy intercession change me, and thus making me 
worthy, this very mercy will give thee that honour 
which so miserable a wretch as I can never give thee. 
Receive me, then, and reject me not, O my Mother. 
The Eternal Word came irom. heaven on earth to 
seek for lost sheep, and to save them He became thj 
Son. And when one of them goes to thee to find 
Jesus, wilt thou despise it t The price of my salvation 
is already paid ; my Saviour has already shed Hift 
blood, which suffices to save an infinity of worlds, 
^is blood has only to be applied even to such a one 
as I am. And that is thy office, Blessed Virgin , 
to thee does it belong, as I am told by Saint Bernard, 
to dispense the merits of this blood to whom th(fa 
pleasest. To thee does it belong, says Saint Bona- 
venture, to save whomsoever thou wiliest, ' whomso 
ever thou wiliest will be fiaved.'^ 0, then, help me, 
my Queen ; my Queen, save me. To thee do I this 
day consecrate my whole soul; do thou save it. 
Salvation of those who invoke thee, I conclude in the 
words of the same Saint, ' Salvation of those who 
call upon thee, do thou save me.' 

Section II. 0/ the greatness qf the power qf Mary to 
dtfend those who invoke her whm tempted "by (he 
Not only is the most Blessed Virgin Queen of heaven 
and of all Saints, but she is also^Queen of hell and (A 
all evil spirits ; for she overcame them valiantly by her 
virtues. From the very beginning God foretold the vic- 
tory and empire that our Queen would one day obtain 
over the serpent, when He announced that a woman 

d by Google 


•Loold oome into the world to oonqner 14m : ^ I wiU 
put enmities between thee and the woman — eho shall 
orosh thy head."^ And who could this woman, hia 
enemy, be but Maiy, who by her iak humility and 
holy life always conquered him and beat down hia 
■trench t The Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ waa 
pronused in the person of that woman, as it is remark- 
ed by an ancient writer,' and therefore God did nol 
say, ^ I place/ but * I will place / lest he might seem 
to refer to Eve : meaning that God siud, '^ I will plaoa 
enmities between thee and the woman," to signify that 
the serpent's opponent was not to be Eve, who waa 
then living, but would be another woman descending 
from her, and who, as Saint Vincent Ferrer observes, 
' would brin^ our first parents fax greater advantages 
than those which they had lost by their sin.'^ Mary, then, 
was this great and valiant woman, who oonquared the 
devil and crushed his head by bringing down his pride, 
as it was foretold by God Himself: ^^she shall crush 
thy head." Some doubt as to whether these words refer 
to Mary, or whether they dp not rather refer to Jesoa 
Ghrist; for the Septuagint renders them, ^'Hb shall ^ 
crush thy head." But in the Vulgate, which alone waa 
approved of by the sacred Council of Trent, we find 
" DHB," and not '' Hb f and thus it was understood bj 
Saint Ambrose, Saint Jerome, Saint Augustine, and a 
great many others. However, be it as it may, it ia 
certain that either the Son by means of the Mother, or 
(be Mother by means of the Son, has overcome Lucifer; 
ao that, as Saint Bernard remarks, this proud spirit, in 
spite of himself, was beaten down and trampled under 
foot by this most Blessed Virgin ; so that, as a slave 
conquered in war, he irforced always to obey the com- 
mands of this Queen, f Beaten down and trampled 

'InfaiiMtiM p0iiMBiiittrtoMwiiBtnai...lMiooalHtC«9iittanB«i- 
aim. 10.19. 

* D* VIro p. Intor oi>. 8. HIer. 

* DtuD autem Adam et Eva etMot In Hia tristltia Deal r«fa!aTll«ii^ qmi 
■b •!• prooederat Vtavo saaotiMUna, qwm affnrat nitf at lM■afl^ 

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vnder tbe feet of Mary, he endured a wietohed 

Saint Bruno says, ' that Eve was the cause of death;' 
by allowing herself to be overcome by the serpent ^ 
'but that Mary/ by conquering the devil, 'restorea 
life to os.''^ Aad she bound him in such a way thai 
thla enemy cannot stir so as to do the least injury to 
any of her clients. ^ 

Beautiful is the explanation given by Richard of 
Saint Lawrence of the following words of the Book oi 
Proverbs : '* The heart of her husband trusteth iv her, 
and he shall have no need of spoils."^ He says, apply- 
ing them to Jesus and Mary : ' The heart of her Spouse 
that is Ohrist, trusteth in her, and He shall have no 
need of spoils ; for she endows Him with all those^ 
whom, by her prayers, merits, and example, she 
matches from the devil.^ ' Grod has intrusted the heart 
of Jesus to the hands of Maiy, that she may insure it 
the love of men,' says Cornelius k Lapide ; and thus 
He will not need spoils ; that is. He will be abundantly 
supplied with souls ; for she enriches Him with those 
whom she has snatched from hell, and saved from thB 
devil by her powerful assistance. 

It is well known that the palm is a sign of victoiy j 
and therefore our Queen is placed on a high throne, in 
eight of all the powers, as a palm, for a sign of the cer- 
tain victory that all may promise themselves who place 
tiiemselves under her protection. '' I was exalted like 
a palm-tree in Gades," says Ecclesiasticus :^ ' that is^ 
to defend,' adds blessed Albert the Great.* ^ My ohil- 

* Bob Xari« pedibof oononlostof et oootrita^ ndsflnun patttor •willulw. 
— ite Sign, Magn, 

* Hm^ Hnea inof pit ab Eva, et desinit in Mariam. In j^noifrto mon, •! 
to line vita eonyietit : mon per Enun &Ma ett, vita per Buiriam reddita eat 
Ilia a diabolo Tiota est, haeo diabolum ligavit et ticit—De Fettit Marim^ 
Serm. ii. 

•Coiifldttio CAOor Tiri n!, et apoliia noa indigeblt-JVev. zzzt 11. 

' Confldit in ea aor viri soi, et spoliis non indigebit Quia qum 
■Ilia orationibns, merftis et ezemplis liberat a diaboks anwoH il i 
ioninia apoasi wA^^De Laud, Vtrg. lib. vi. cap. 6. 

* Unatl palma exaltata som in Cadm.'^SeA zziT. 18. 

* Idddbndtt Inm.—BiU. Mwitm, 

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10 THIS DO WB CRY. 119 

iien/ Mary seems to say, ' wlien tlie enemy assafls yoQ^ 
fly to me ; cast your eyes on me, and be of good heart j 
for as I am your defender, victory is assured to you.' 
So that recourse to Mary is a most secure means to 
eouquer all the assaults of hell ; for she, says Saint 
Bernardino of Sienna, is even the Queen of hell, and 
sovereign mistress of the devils : since she it is who 
tames SChd cmshes them. He thus expresses his thought: 
' The most Blessed Virgin rules over the infernal re- 
gions. She is therefore called the ruling mistress 
the devils, because she brings them into subjection; 
For this reason Mary is said in the sacred Canticlefl 
to be " terrible " to the infernal powers, " as an array 
in battle array ;"^^ and she is called thus 'tenible, 
because she well knows how to array her power, her 
mercy, and her prayers, to the discomfiture of her 
enemies, and for the benefit of her servants, who 
in their temptations have recourse to her most power- 
ful aid. 

"As the vine, I have brought forth a pleasat" 
odour."^* Thus does the Holy Ghost make Mary speaiw 
In the book of Ecclesiasticus. ' We are told,' says 
Saint Bernard on this passage, that 'all venomoui 
reptiles fly' from flowering vines :'^^ for, as poisonous 
reptiles fly from flowering vines, so do devils fly from 
those fortunate souls in whom they perceive the per- 
fume of devotion to Mary. And therefore she also 
calls herself, in the same book, a cedar : '' I was ez- 
idted like a cedar in Libanus."^* Not only because 
Mary was untainted by sin, as the cedar is incorrupti- 
ble, but also, as Cardinal Hugo remarks on the above 
text, because, ' like the cedar, which by its odour keeps 

'^ Beata Virgt> doininatar in regno inferni . . . Domina dicitar qaati do* 
aaans manus, quia ipsa domat daemonum manos et potestates.— ^erm. iii. 4t 
GlofrNom. M. 

** Terribilis at cagtroram acies ordinata.— Cant tL 3. 

" Ego quasi vitis ihiotifioavi soavitatem odoris.— Jfeel. xxlr. S3. 

" Ainnt dt fioresoentibas vineis omne reptile yenenatom oed«rt 1 
Arm. Ix. in Cant. 

M Qmiid cedrui ezaltata inin in Lib«noi.— AoL siiT. IT. 

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eff worms, so also does Mary by Ler sanctity drive 
away the devils.'^ 

In Judea victories were gained by means of the ark. 
Thus it was that Moses conquered his enemies, as we 
learn from the book of Numbers. " And when the 
ark was lifted up, Moses said : Arise, Lord, and let 
Thy enemies be scattered."^® Thus was Jericho con- 
quered ; thus also the Philistines ; " for the Ark <rf 
God was there.''" It is well known that this ark waa 
a figure of Mary. Cornelius k Lapide says, *In time 
of dangpr, Christians should fly to the most Blessed 
Virgin, who (Jontained Christ as manna in the ark 
of her T^omb, and brought hira forth to be the food 
and salvation of the world.'^® For as manna was in 
the ark, so is Jesus (of whom manna was a figure) in 
Mary; and by means of this ark we gain the victory 
over our earthly and infernal enemies. ' And thus,' 
Saint Bemardine of Sienna well observes, ' that when 
Mary, the ark of the New Testament, was raised to the 
dignity of Queen of heaven, the power of hell over men 
was weakened and dissolved.'^^ 

O how the infernal spirits tremble at the very 
thought of Mary, and of her august name I says Saint 
Bonaventure. ' 0, how fearful is Mary to the devils I*** 
The Saint compares these enemies to those of whom 
Job speaks : " He diggeth through houses in the dark : 
if the morning suddenly appear, it is to them the 
shadow of death.''*^ Thieves go and rob houses in the 
dark ; but as soon as morning dawns, they fly, afl if 

» Cednu odore mo ftagat ferpentes, et Beata Vii^ dnnones.~-Ji» Ml 
XocL cap. zziv. 

^* Oumqae eleTaretnr area, dicebat Moyset : Sxirge Domiue, et diisipentw 
Inimic! inl^Nnm. x, 35 
•»' Erat enim Ibiarca Dei.— 1 Beg. ±Lr. 18. 

*^ In periculis Christiani fbgiaot ... ad B. VirglDem, qa» Christnm quad 
manna in area ventris sni eontinuit, et peperit pro oibo et aalate mundi.— 
Comment, in l%b,\ Beg. cap. xiv. 18. 

^ Qaaado elevata ftdt Virffo gloriosa ad ooelestia reena, dsmonispoteniia 
fanminuta eet et dissipata.— ^Kerm. in Atiump. B. V. M, 

* O quam amaraet tremenda est hceo Maria d»inonibii8l—A)ee.i^. V,JC 

>i Perfodit in tenebrit domes ... SI soUto ap pan i ei lt snrora, i 
mbnuB mortis^— ^«fr. zsIt U^ 17. 

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TO THSX DO irm CBT. 121 

Qiey beheld the shadow of death. ' Precisely Ihus/ 
'n the words of the same Saint, ' do the devils enter a 
tool in the time of darkness ; ' meaning when the soul 
18 in the obscurity of ignorance. They dig through 
the honse of oar mind when it is in the darkness of ig- 
I >rance. Bat then he adds, 'if suddenly they ate 
o/e 4kken by the dawn, that is, if the grace and mer- 
jy jf Manr enters the soul, its brightness instantly dis-' 
pels the darkness, and pats the infernal enemies to 
flight, as if they fled from death.^ blessed is he 
who always invokes the beautiful name of Mary in his 
conflicts with hell ! . *• ,, 

In confirmation of this, it was revealed to Saint 
Bridget, ' that God had rendered Mary so poweif al 
over the devils, that as often as they assault a devout 
client who calls on this most Blessed Virgin for help, 
she at a single glance instantly terrifles them, so that 
they fly far away, preferring to have their pains re- 
doubled rather than see themselves thus subject to the 
power of Mary.'^ 

The Divine Bridegroom, when speaking of this His 
>9loved bride, calls her a lily : ''As the lily is amongst 
!he thorns, so is my beloved amongst the daughters!^ 
On these words Cornelius k Lapide makes the reflec- 
tion, ' that as the lily is a remedy against serpents and 
venomous things, so is the inypcation of Mary a spe- 
dfic by which we may overcome all temptations, and 
especially those against purity, as all find who put it 
in practice^' ^ 

' Perfodiant namqae in tanelnifl IgnorantUs, in tenebris obionritelif in* 
iMiores domo« mentiam noetraram .... Si enim axMU apparaerit anrotm. 
I eito nobis advenerit et supenrenerit MarisB gntiA et miseiioordia . . . ai* 
(biciant, nout homines timent et ftiffiont ombram mortis.— Amc B, V, M, 

** Saper omnes etiam malignos spiiitos ipeam sio Dens potentem effecit, 
food quotiesoamque ipsi aliquem hominem Virgiois aaxilium ez obaritnto 
iMiplorantem impug^averint, ad ipsios Virginis oatam illioo pavidi prooul 
iiiTagiunt ; Tolentes potius p«enas suas et miserias sibi multiplioari, quam 
ij^nsdem Viriarinis potentiam super se taliter dominari. — JSerm. Ang. eap. zz. 

^ Siout lilium inter spinas, sio arnica mea inter Alias. — Cant. iL 2. 

** Sicot lilium yalet adye*<«as serpentes et yenena, ^ B Virginis \aiw^ 
Mlio sinffulare est remediua ^ omui tentatione yitioram, tt fOMnrtte IM* 
IWi^ uttttixiieDtia eonstai^ CvmmmL im OamL 

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S«nt Cosmas of Jerusalem used fco say, * WWle I 
keep my hope in thee unconqnerable, 6 Mother of 
God, I shall be safe. I will fight and overcome my 
wiemies with no other buckler than thy protection and 
thy all-powerful aid.'^ And all\who are so fortunate 
•8 to be the servants of this great Queen can say the 
same thing. O Mother of Gfod, if I hope in thee, I 
most certainly shall not be overcome j for, defended by 
Thee, I will follow up my enemies, and oppose them 
with the shield of thy protection and thy all-powerful 
help ; and then without doubt I shall conquer. For 
says St. James the monk (who was a doctor amongst 
the Greeks), addressing our Lord on the subject of 
Mary, 'Thou, Lord, hast given us in Mary arms 
that no force of war can overcome, and a trophy never 
to be destroyed.'^ 

It is said in the Old Testament, that God guided 
His people from Egypt to the land of promise, " by 
day in a pillar of a cloud, and by night in a pillar of 
fire.'^ This stupendous pillar, at times as a cloud, at 
others as fire, says Richard of St. Lawrence, was a 
figure of Mary fulfilling the double office she con- 
stantly exercises for our good : as a cloud she protects 
us from the ardour of Divine justice ; and as fire she 
protects us from the devils. ' Behold the twofold ob- 
ject for which Mary is given to us ; to shelter us, iis a 
oloud, from the heat of the sun of justice, and, as fire, 
to protect us all against the devil .'^ She protects us 
af> a burning fire : for. Saint Bonaventure remarks : 
^As wax melts before the fire, so do the devils lose 
OkQii power against those souls who often remember the 

* InTitapembflem Detpara spem tnain habeni, lervabor. . . Perwqoar 
Jblmioos meoa et fugam vertam, Bolam habens ut thoraoem pruteofwMa 
tnam et omnipoteni aoziliuin taum. — Bymn vi. in Depr, ad Deip, 

^ Ta arma vi omDi belli potentiora, trophsomqae inviotam earn pnwtf 
tlftL— In Nat, S. Marix, 

* Per diem in oolamna nabii, et per noctem in oolomna jgnig.— JheA 

» Eoce dno offloia ad qu« data eet nobis Ifaria : toilioet, at not proCegat 
a fenrore soliii Jcutitia, tamqnam nabes. . . et tamqoam igoii . . . not fff»i 
tif at ooDtm diabolam.->ljib. TiiL De Lamd, Vif^, oap. ISL 

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Dsme of Hary, and devoutly invc^e it ; and still more 
go, if they also endeavour to imitate lier virtues.^ 

The devils tremble even if they only hear ill 
name of Mary. Saint Bernard declares that in ' the 
name of Mary eveiy knee bows ] and that the devils 
not onlv fear but tremble at the very sound of that 
aame.'^ And as men fall proskate with fear if a 
thnnderbolt falls near them, so do the devils if they 
hear the name of Mary. Thomas k Kempis thus ex- 
presses the same sentiment : ' The evil spirits greatly 
fear the Qaeen of heaven, and fly at the sound of her 
name, as if from fire. At the very sound of the word 
Mary, they are prostrated as by thunder.'^ And Oh, 
how many victories have the clients of Maiy gained 
by only making use of her most holy name ! It was 
thus that Saint Anthony of Padua was alwi^s victori- 
ous; thus the blessed Henry Suso; thus so many 
other lovers of this great Queen conquered. We learn 
from the history of the missions in Japan, that many 
devils appeared under the form of fierce animals to a 
certain Christian, to alarm and threaten him ; but be 
thus addressed them : 'I have no arms that you can 
fear ; and if the Most High permits it, do whatever you 
please with me. In the mean time, however, I take 
the holy names of Jesus and Mary for my defence.' 

At the very sound of these tremendous names, the 
earth opened, and the proud spirits cast theuiselvet^ 
headlong into it. 

Saint Anselm declares that he himself ' knew and 
had seen and heard many who had invoked the name 
of Mary in time of danger, and were immediately de- 
livered from it.'^ 

* Pereont lioat o«ra a flurfe ignli, ableamqa« hnTeneriDt oreimm 1N^ 
Bominifl reoordationeni, devotam inTOoationem, 0ollioitam imitatfooMo.— 
4Me. B. M. V. leot zi. 

*i In nomine Maria omn« genu fleotStnr ; et cUemones non aolnm pagftwui 
0Oiit, sed, audita hao Tooe, oontremisount, — Serm. «tfp. Mitt, t 

* ExpATesoont ooBli Reirinam spiritns maligni, et diffiiglunt, andfto no- 
Mlne lanoto ejus, relut ab igue. Tanquam tonitruum de coelo fiEUjtam, lie 
frasteminitiir ad Saacla Mari« ▼ooabulom.—iS^rm. vr. ad Nov. 

* 8»i>e quippe vidiioua et audiyimuB plurimoi bomiDom in iuIb nerleolf 
■niidtflWrwB ; nai«« UUm •* oaais perfcnli OTMina. -Jh Mm, Fwy. t.^ 

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' Glorious indeed^ and admirable^ ' exclmms Salu* 
Bonaventnre, ' is thy name, Mary; for those who 
jMononnce it at death need not fear all the powers of 
hell ; ^ for the devils on hearing that name instantly 
fly, and leave the soul in peace. The same Saint adds, 
* that men do not fear a powerfol hostile army as much 
as thej)owers of hell fear the name and protection of 
Mary.'* * Thou, Lady, ' says Saint Germanus, * by 
the simple invocation of thy most powerful name, giv 
est security to thy servants against all the assaults of 
the enemy .'^ Oh, were Christians but careful in their 
temptations to pronounce the name of Mary with con- 
fidence, never would they fall ; for, as blessed Allan 
remarks, ^ At the very sound of the^ words. Hail, 
Mary ! Satfiin fiies, and hell trembles.'^ Our Blessed 
Lady herself revealed to St. Bridget that the enemy 
flies even from the most abandoned sinners, and who 
consequently are the furthest from God, and fully pos- 
sessed by the devil, if they only invoke her most 
powerful name with a true purpose of amendment. 
' All devils, on hearing this name of Mary. €lled with 
terror, leave the soul.'^ But at the same time our 
Blessed Lady added, * that if the soul does not amend 
and obliterate its sins by sorrow, the devils almost im- 
mediately return and continue to possess it.'* 


In Beichersperg there was a canon regular of the 
name of Arnold* sumamed the Pious on account of the 

"* Glorlofam et admirabile est nomen taom t qoi illod retinent, non azp** 
Twoent in pnooto mortis. — In Pm. ox. 

** Nod sic timent hostes visfUIes qnad oastromm maltitadinem oojrfosam, 
flltnt aerMB potestates ICarisB Tooabolam, patxtwiniom et exraiplam.— AMa 
AJf. F.lectiii. --,*-- r -Ki— 

* To nequissimi hostis contra servos tuns invasiones sola toi nominis in- 
Tooatione sanotissima repellens, tatos atque inoolomes senras.— iSenn. dg 
Zona Virg, 

^ Satan Aifj^t, infemns oontremisoit, Qoxn dice Ave Maria.— De Psott. ^ 
4. a 30. 

** Onuses damones, andito nomina mea statim relinammt *"'-**— i ooMl 
ti^ti. -Lib. L £eo. a 9. 

* At« mwimiftw ad «M.». jM attqM 4 

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Banctitj of his life^ and wlio had the most tender de- ' 
,votiop to our Blessed Lady. When at the point of 
death, and having received the last sacaraments, he 
Bommoned his religions brethren, and begged that they 
woold not abandon him in his last passage. Scarcely 
had he uttered these words, when, in the presence of 
all, he began to tremble, to roll his eyes, and, bathed 
Id a cold sweat, with a faltering voice said, ^Ah, do 
you not see the devils who are endeavouring to drag me 
to hell f He then cried out, ' Brothers, implore the 
idd of Mary for me ; in her I confide ; she will give me 
the victory.' On hearing this, his brethren recited the 
Litany of our Blessed Lady, and as they said, ' Holy 
Mary, pray for him,' the dying man exclaimed, ' Repeat, 
repeat the name of Mary, for I am already before God's 
tribunal.' He was silent for a moment, and then 
added, 'It is true that I did it, but I have done 
penance for it.' And then turning to our Blessed 
Lady, he said, '0 Mary, I shall be delivered if thou 
he] pest me.' Again the devils attacked him; but he 
defended himself with his crucifix and the name of 
Mary. Thus was the night spent ; but no sooner did 
morning dawn than Arnold exclaimed with the greatest 
calmness, and full of holy joy, 'Mary, my sovereign 
Lady, my refuge, has obtained me pardon and salvation'. 
Then casting his eyes on that Blessed Virgin who was 
inviting him to follow her, he said, ' I come, O Lady, I 
come 1' and making an effort to do so even with his 
body, his soul fied after her to the realms of eternal 
bliss, as we trust, for he sweetly expired.^ 


Behold at thy feet, Mary my hope, a poor sinner, 
who has so many times been by his own fault the 
slave of heU. I know that by neglecting <o have re- 
course to thee, my refuge, I allowed myself to be over- 

^ p. Aviemma, Aid Seamb, p. iL cap. 8. "Lvde^fig, Ckion. Reloh«np^ 

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come by the devil. Had I always bad recourse to tbec^ 
had I always invoked thee, I certainly should not bavc(, 
fallen. I trust, O Lady most worthy of all onr love^ 
that through thee I have already escaped from tha 
hands of the devil, and that Gk>d has pardoned me. 
But I tremble lest at some future period I may again 
fall in the same bonds. I know that my enemiei 
have not lost the hope of again overcoming me, and 
already they prepare new assaults and temptations for 
me. Ah, my Queen and refuge, do thou assist me. 
Place me under thy mantle ,• permit me not agam to 
become their slave. I know that thou wilt help me 
and give me the victory, provided I invoke thee j bat 
I dr^ lest in my temptations I may forget thee, and 
neglect to do so. The favour, then, that I seek oi thee^ 
and which thou must grant me, most bolv Virpn, 
is that I may never forget thee, and e^edally in tmie 
of temptation j grant that I may then repeatedly in- 
voke thee, saying, 'O Mary, help me ; Mary, help me.' 
And when my last struggle with hell comes, at the 
moment of death, ah then, my Queen, help me mcxe 
than ever, and thou thyself remind me to call on 
thee more frequently either with my lips or in aijr 
heart ; that, being thus filled with confidence, I may 
expire with thy sweet name and that of thy Son Jesoa 
on my lips ; that so I may be able to bless thee and 
praise thee, and not depart £rom thy leet in PaiadiM 
for all eternity AmcE. 

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Section I. 0/ the Necessity of the Intercesskm (/ 
Martffor our Salvation. 

That it is not onlj lawful bat useful to invoke acu 
pray to the Saints, and more especially to the Qaeen 
of Saints, the most holy and ever blessed Virgin Mary, 
in order that they may obtain us the Divine grace, is 
an article of faith, and has been defined by general 
councils, against heretics who condemned it as iDJuri- 
ous to Jesus Christ, who is our only mediator ; but if 
a Jeremias after his death prayed for Jerusalem ;* if 
the ancients of the Apocalypse p4esented the prayers 
of the Saints to God f if a Saint Peter promises his 
disciples that after his death he will be mindful of 
them f if a holy Stephen prays for his persecutors}* if 
a Saint Paul prays for his companions f if, in fine, the 
Saints can pray for us, w hy cannot we beseech the 
Saints to intercede for us f Saint Paul recommends 
himself to the prayers of his disciples: ''Brethr^i, 
pray for us."® Saint James exhorts us to pray one for 
another: ''Pray one for another, that you may be 
gaved.''^ Then we can do the same. 

No one denies that Jesus Christ is our only mediator 
of justice; and that He by His merits has ol^ned our 

>SMach XT. 14. * Apo<^ tL 8. 

•S Pet. LIS. *Aot.TiL». 

• Aet zxtM. S4 ; Eph. IL 16 , Phil. 1. 4 ; CoL i. a. 

* Orate pro nobis. — ^1 THm, r. 3S. 

' Onto pM iBTktm at MlTtmiDL— A JoeoU t. 1A 

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reoondlktion with Gk>d. But, on the other hand, it !g 
HQpioiis to assert that God is not pleased to grant 
graces at the intercession of His Saints, and more 
especially of Mary his Mother, whom Jesns desires so 
much to see loved and honoured by all. Who can 
pretend that the honour bestowed on » mother does not 
redound to the honour of the son t " The glory of chil- 
dren are their fathers.''^ Whence St. Bernard says, 
'Let us not imagine that we obscure the glory of the 
Son by the great praise we lavish on the Mother ; for 
the more she is honoured, the greater is the glory of 
her Son.' ' There can be no doubt,' says the Saint; 
'that whatever we say in praise of the Mother is 
equally in praise of the Son.'^ And St. Ildephonsus 
also says, * That which is given to the Mother re- 
dounds to the Son ; the honour ffiven to the Queen is 
honour bestowed on the King.^ There can be no 
doubt that by the merits of Jesus Mary was made the 
mediatress of our salvation ; not indeed a mediatress 
of justice, but of grace and intercession; as St. Bona- 
venture expressly calls her * Mary the most faithfcd 
mediatress of our salvation.'^^ And St. Lawrence 
Justinian asks, ' How can she be otherwise than fall 
of grace, who has been made the ladder to paradise, 
the gate of heaven, the most true mediatress between 
God and man f^ 

Hence the learned Suarez justly remarks, that if we 
implore our Blessed Lady to obtain us a favour, it is 
not because we distrust the Divine mercy, but rather 
that we fear our own unworthiness and the absence 
of proper dispositions ; and we recommend ourselves 

* Gloila flUoram patres eornm. — J*ro>o, xviL 6. 

* Nod est dabiam, quidqaid in laodibos Matrii profeiimns, ad Fllitim p«r 
tinera. — Horn. iv. sup. Mitt, 

>* Redandat ad Filiam, quod iinpeDditnr Matri Tranrit honor in r^^m, 

foi defScfftor in fomolatom re^nae. — Dt Virg. 8. M. cap. xii. 

>> Maria fidelissima mediatrix salutis fait—i^pec. B. F. M. leet. ix. 

>* Quomode non est Maria, Juzta Oabrielis oraoulum, plena gratia, qoa 
eflSeota est Mater Dei, pcu^isl soala, cosli Jauua, interventrix mundi, dsBmo- 
Bum ftiga, peccatorum spes, nauftagantium portus, maris Stella, oonfuffiam 
parlclitantiam, solamen laborantium, fluctoantiuin robur, .Dei el homiiumi 
VMlMlfflA nuMliatrizI— iSerM. dt AwMimc 

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to Mary, that her dignity may sapply for our lowIineBS. 
He says that we apply to Mary ' in order that the 
dignity of the intercessor may supply for our misery 
Hence, to invoke the aid of the most Blessed Virgin 
is not diffidence in the Dirine mercy, but dread of onr 
ovra unworthiness.'^^ 

That it is most useful and holy to have recourse to 
the intercession of Mary can only be doubted by those 
fvho have not faith. But that which we intend to 
prove here is, that the intercession of Mary is even 
necessary to salvation ; we say necessary — ^not abso- 
lutely, but morally. This necessity proceeds from the 
will itself of 6oa, that all graces that He dispenses 
should pass by the hands of Mary, according to the 
opinion of St. Bernard, and which we may now with 
safety call the general opinion of theologians and 
learned men. The author of the Reign of Mary 
positively asserts that such is the case. It is main- 
tained by Vega, Mendoza, Pacciuchelli, Segneri, Poir^, 
Crasset, and by innumerable other learned authors. 
Even Father Natalis Alexander, who always uses so 
much reserve in his propositions, even he says that it 
is the will of God that we should expect aU graces 
through the intercession of Mary. I will give his 
own words : ^ God wills that we should obtain all good 
things that we hope for from Him through the power- 
ful intercession of the Virgin Mother, and we shall ob- 
tain them whenever (as we are in duty bound) we in- 
voke her.^^^ In confirmation of this, he quotes the 
following celebrated passage of St. Bernard : ' JSuch 
is His will, that we should have all by Mary.'** 
Father Gontenson is also of the same opinion ; for, 
explaining the words addressed by our Lord on t) e 

1' Ut dignitas iuteroesaoris snppleat inopiam nostram. Unde virginem 
lDterp«llare, oon est de divina miserioordia diffidere. sed de propria indigni- 
tate et ind'upodtioue timere.— 2>e Inoamai. p. li. q. \fl, • lisp. 23, 6 3. 

" Qui yolt at omnia bona ab ipso expeotemas potentisslma Tirrinis ma- 
tris intercessione ; cam laam. at par est, inyooamas impetnuida.— Epist \xx^ 
In oalce torn. iv. MorciL 

" Sio €st \ duntai itJofi qai totom not Uber« volait p«r i 

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^ C TO ^HBB DO WE 8iaH. 

Cross to Saint jolia : " Behold thy Mother,"" 1m 
lemarks, ^ That it is the same thing as if He had said: 
As no one can be saved except through the merits of 
My sofieiings and death, so no one will be a pai-taker 
of the blood then shed otherwise than through the 
prayer of My Mother. He alone is a son of My 3ar 
rows who has Mary for his Mother. My wounds are 
ever-flowing fountains of grace; but their streams will 
reach no one but by the channel of Mary. In vain 
wiU he invoke Me as a Father who has not venerated 
Mary as a Mother. And thou, my disciple John, if 
thou lovest Me, love her j for thou wilt be beloved by 
Me in proportion to thy love for her.''^"^ 

This preposition (that all that we receive from our 
Lord comes through Mary) does not exactly please a 
certain mddem writer, who, although in other respects 
he speaks of true and false devotion with much learn- 
ing and piety, yet when he treats of devotion towards 
the Divine Mother he seems to grudge her that glory 
whi,ch was given her without scruple by a Saint Ger- 
manus, a Saint Anselm, a Saint John Damascene, a 
8/dnt Bonaventure, a Saint Antoninus, a Saint Ber- 
nardine, the venerable Abbot of Oelles, and so many 
other learned men, who had no difficulty in affirming 
that the intercession of Mary is not only useful but 
necessary. The author alluded to says that the propo- 
sition that God grants no grace otherwise than through 
Mary, is hyperbolical and exaggerated, having dropped 
from the lips of some saints in the heat of fervour^ but 
whtch, correctly speaking, is only to be understood as 
meaning that through Mary we received Jesus Ctrtst, 
by whose merits we obtain all graces ; for he addg^ 

' '* Eooe mater tua. — Joan. zix. 27. 

1' Qnafli aperte diceret, sicut nemo potest salvari nisi per roeritnm cruois 
•t mortis mee ; ita nuUus sanguinis illius particepe erit, nisi interoessione 
matris mesi. Ille solus Alius dolorum meorum repntabitur, cui Maria mater 
eri!^ Volnera gratiarum fontes perennes et pateutes sunt : sed ad nollot 
derivabuntur riri, nisi per Marianum canalem et aqusduotum. Frustra 
ne tnyocabit patrem, qui Mar/am non fiient yeneratus ut matrem. Ta 
^wemet, prsBdilecte disoipule Joannes, si me amas, earn ama : tantum raim 
• me amabeiis qoantam earn amaTerif.— JAeo). Mentit et Oord. torn, i! Uhb 

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'To believe that Gtod can grant us no gracea without 
the intercession of Mary, wonld be contrary to faith 
and tne doctrine of Saint Paul; who says that we 
acknowledge bat ^' one God and one MedCator of Qod 
and men, the man Christ Jesus.'' ^'^ 

Bat with his leave, and going apon his own admis- 
■ions, mediation of justice by way of merit is one thing, 
and mediation by grace by way of prayer is another. 
And again, it is one thing to say that God cannot, and 
another that He will not, grant graces without the in- 
tercession of Mary. ' We willingly admit- that God is 
the source of every good, and the absolute Master of 
all graces ; and that Mary is only a pure creatare, who 
receives whatever she obtains as a pure favour from 
Qod. But who can ever deny that it is most reason- 
able and proper to assert that God, in order to exalt 
thif great creatare, who more than all others hon- 
oored and loved Him daring her life, and whom, 
moreover, He had chosen to be the Mother of His 
Son, oar common Redeemer, wills that all graces tbat 
are granted to those whom He has redeemed should 
pas s through and be dispensed by the hands of Mary f 
We most readily admit that Jesus Christ is the only 
Mediator of jostice, according to the distinction just 
made, and that by His merits He obtains us all graces 
and salvation ; but we say that Mary is the Mediatress 
of grace; and that receiving all she obtains through 
Jesus Christ, and because she prays and asks 
for it in the name of Jesus Christ, yet all the 
•ame whatever graces we receive, they come to us 
through her intercession. 

There is certaii ly nothing contrary to faith in this, 
bat the reverse. It is quite in accordance M'ith the 
sentiments of the Church, which, in its public and 
approved prayers, teaches as continually to have re- 
course to this Divine Mother, and to invoke her as the 
^health of the weak, the refuge of sinners, the help of 


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Gbristians, and as our life and hope.'^^ In the office 
appointed to be said on the feasts of Mary, this same 
holy Ohnrch, applying the words of Ecclesiasticus to 
this Blessed Virgin, gives ns to understand that in her 
we find all hope. "In me is all hope of life and of 
vhrtae ! ^^ in Mary is every grace, "In me is all grace 
of the way and of the truth/'^^ In Mary, finally, we 
shall find L'fe and eternal salvation : " Who finds me 
finds life, and draws salvation from the Lord.''^ And 
elsewhere: "They that work by me shall not an j they 
that explain me shall have everlkstihg life.''^ And 
surely such expressions as these sufficiently prove that 
we require the intercession of Mary. 

Moreover, we are confirmed in this opinion by so 
many theologians and fathers, of whom it is certainly 
incorrect to say, as the above-named author does, that, 
in exalting Mary they spoke hyperbolically and allowed 
great exaggerations to fall from their lips. To exagge- 
rate and speak hyperbolically, is to exceed the limits of 
tiTith 'j and surely we cannot say that Saints who were 
animated by the Spirit of God, which is truth itseli^ 
spoke thus. If I may be allowed to make a short di- 
gression, and give my own sentiment, it is, that when 
an opinion tends in any way to the honour of the most 
Blfvtsed Yirgin, when it has some foundation, and is 
repugnant neither to the faith, nor to the decrees of the 
Church, nor to truth, the refusal to hold it, or to oppose 
it because the reverse may it true, shows little devotion 
to the Mother of God. Of the nimiber of such bb these 
I do not choose to be, nor do I wish my reader to be 
so, but rather ol the number of those who folly and 
firmly believe all that can without error be believed of 
the greatness of Mary, according to the Abbot Rapert| 

" Salm infirmonmi, refogiam peooatonun, anTilinm Ghriftiaaoram, Ttt% 

** In me omnia ipM yite et ylrtatii. — Sod, sdr. SS. 

*i In me gratia omnU Ti» et Teritatis.~i&. 

" Qui me inyenerit, inveniet ritam, et hanriet ■alntem a Domino.— lA^t* 

** Qui opeiantar in me, hon peoMboat Qui elveMaat m% yViam m/b&nam 
-^ - %jaBlv.30,a. 

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who, amongst the acts of homage most pleasing to this 
good Mother, places that of firmly believing all that 
redounds to her honour.** If there was nothing else to 
take away our fear of exceeding in the praises of Mary , 
St. Augustine**^ should suffice 5 for he declares that what- 
ever we may say in praise of Mary is little in com- 
parison with that which she deserves, on account of 
her dignity, of Mother of God; and, moreover, the 
Church says, in the Mass appointed for her festivalsi 
' Thou art happy, sacred Virgin Mary, and most 
worthy of all praise.'^ 

But let US return to the point, and examine what 
the Saints say on the subject. Saint Bernard saya 
^ that Grod hafi filled Mary with all graces, so that men 
may receive by her means, as by a channel, every good 
thing that comes to them.' He says that ' she is a fall 
aqueduct, that others may receive of her plenitude.'" 
On this the Saint makes the following significant re- 
mark ; ' Before the birth of the Blessed Virgin, a con- 
stant flow of graces was wanting, because this aqueduct 
did not exist.^ But now that Mary has been given to 
the wodd, heavenly graces constantly flow through her 
on fdl. 

The devil, like Holofemes, who, in order to gain 
possession of the city of Bethulia, ordered the aqueducts 
to be destroyed, exerts himself to his utmost to destroy 
devotion to the Mother of God in 'souls ; for if this 
channel of grace is closed, he easily gains possession of 
them. And here, continues the same Saint Bernard, 
.'See, O souls, with what tender devotion ourliord 
wills that we should honour our Queen, by always 
having recourse to and relying on her protection 5 for 
in Mary He has placed the plenitude of every good, 

** EJns magnaHa firmitei credere.— 'I^ Laud. Virg, 

" Serm. 208. B. B. app. 

** F«liz namqne es, sacra Tirgo Maria, et omnt lande digntelaa. 

^ Plenna eqniaem aqTUBdaotu, at aooipiant c»teri de cjni plenitndfat^^ 
twm. d6 Aqumd, 

** Propterea tanto tempore hmnano nfenerl flaenta ttnXim deftMnmt, qoni 
iMdoBi In t a w ede ro t fa de que loquLior tarn deiidenM^ilii aqpadoefciiai- -Ht 

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BO that henceforward we may know and acknowledge 
that whatever hope, grace, or other advantage we pos- 
sess, all comes from the hand of Mary.'^ Saint Anto- 
ninns says the same thing : ' All graces that have ever 
been bestowed on men, all came by Mary.'^ And on 
thif account she is called the Moon, according to the 
following remark of Saint Bonaventure : 'As the moon, 
which stands between the sun and the earth, transmits 
to this latter whatever she receives from the former, so 
does Mary pour out upon us who are in this world the 
heavenly graces that she receives from the Divine sun 
of justice.^* 

Again, the holy church calls her * the happy gate 
of heaven f^ for as the same Saint Bernard remarks : 
^ As every mandate of grace that is sent by a king 
passes by the palace-gates, so does every grace that 
comes from heaven to the world pass through the 
hands of Mary.'^ Saint Bonaventure says that Mary 
is called 'the gate of heaven, because no one can enter 
that blessed kingdom without passing by her.'^ An 
ancient author, probably Saint Sophronius, in a sermon 
on the Assumption, published with the works of Saint 
Jerome, says ' that the plentitude of grace which is in 
Jesus Christ came into Mary, though in a different 
way f^ meaning that it is our Lord, as in the head, 
from which the vital spirits (that is. Divine help to 
obtain eternal salvation) flow into us, who are the 
members of His mystical body ; and that the same 

** Intnemin! qnanto derotionis affeota a nobis earn rolaerit honOrari, 4|iil 
totini boni plenitudinem posuit in Maria : at proinde si quid spei in noUa 
Mt, s'l quid gratis, si qaidsalntis, ab ea noverimns redandare — Serm. di 

*> Per B Mariam exivit de ooelis ad nos qnicqnid onquam gratiaB ereatoi 
Yenit in mnndnm.-— P. iy. tit 15, o 20. 

*^ Quia sicat lana inter corpora OGBlesda et terrena est media, et qnod ab 
Ills aooipit ad inferiora reftindit : sic et xirgo re^ia inter nos et Denm ett 
Media, et grattam ipsa nobis refandit.~i9pann. Polyanth. litt, M. t. 6. 

» Felix ccBli porta. 

** Nihil nos Dens habere yolnit, qnod per Maria mannt non tnuaslxet— 
Jfarm. Ui. in Virg. Nat, D. 

** Nnllus potest — coelam intrare, nisi per Mariam traaseat tarnqvaa 
per portam.— JESxpon't in cap. i. Luc. 

" In Mariam vero totius gratias qosa !n Cluristo est plenitndo TenH» \ 
foam •XWmt.—Strm. de Auump. B. F. 

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plenitade is in Mary, as in the neck, tliroogh which 
these vital spirits pass to the members. The same 
idea is confirmed by Saint Bernardine of Sienna, who 
explains it more clearly, saying, * that all graces of the 
spiritual life that descend from Christ, their head, to 
the faithful, who are His mystical body, are transmitted 
by the means of Mary/^ 

The same Saint Bernardine endeavours to assign ft 
reason for this when he says, ' that as God was pleased 
to dwell in the womb of this holy Virgin, she acquired, 
so to say, a kind of jurisdiction over all graces ; for 
when Jesus Christ issued forth from her most sacred 
womb, all the streams of Divine gifts flowed from her 
as from a celestial ocean.'^ Elsewhere, repeating the 
same idea in more distinct terms, he asserts that 'from 
the moment that this Virgin Mother conceived the 
Divine Word in her womb, she acquired a special 
jurisdiction, so to say, over all the gifts of the Holy 
Ghost, so that no creature has since received any grace 
from God otherwise than by the hands of Mary.'* 
Another author, in a commentary on a passage of Jere- 
mias, in which the prophet, speaking of the Incarnation 
of the Eternal Word, and of Mary His Mother, says 
that ' a woman shall compass a man,'^ remarks, that 
' as no line can be drawn from the centre of a circle 
without passing by the circumference, so no grace pro- 
ceeds from Je8us,-who is the centre of every good thing, 
without passing by Mary, who compassed Him when 
she received Him into her womb.'^ Saint Bernardino 
eays that for this reason, ' all giffcs, all virtues, and all 

** Per Virginem a capite Cbristi vitales f^ratiaB in cjof corpus mystloiui 
transftiiidantnr. — Serm. de Nat, B, M, V, cap. viii. 

" Gam . . . tota oatnra divina. . . intra yirginis nteram extiterit olaa* 
■am : non timeo dicere quod omnium gratiamm effluxus quamdam Jurisdio- 
tionem habuerit haec vii^, de oi^us utero, quasi de quodam dfyinitatif 
oceano, rivi et flumina emanabant omnium gratiarum. — To. 

" A tempore a quo virgo mater ooncepit in utero Verbum Dei, qnan- 

iam Cut sio dioam^ jurisdictionem sen auctoritatem obtinnit in omni Spiritof 
Sanoti processione temporali ; ita quod nulla oreatura aliquam a Dau obtt* 
■nit gratiam, nisi secundum ipsius piss matris dispensatiODem.— i^ 

•* Jer. zxxi. 251. 

^Qmmit Vmt. Per. p. 1. tr. 1. q. 6. $ 9» 

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gmoes are dispensed by the hands of Marj k» ^hom* 
soever, when, and as she pleases.'*^ Riohaid of Saint 
Lawrence also asserts Hhat God wills that whatever 
good things He bestows on his creatures should pass 
by the hands of Mary.'^ And therefore the venerable 
Abbot of Celles exhorts all to have recourse to ' this 
treasury of graces' (for so he calls her); for the world 
and the whole human race has to receive every good 
that can be hoped for through her alone. ^Address 
yourselves to the Blessed Virgin,' he says ; ' for by her, 
and in her, and with her, knd from her, the world 
receives, and is to receive, every good.'*^ It must be 
now evident to all, that when these saints and authors 
tell us in such terms that all graces come to us through 
Mary, they do not simply mean to say that we ' received 
Jesus Christ, the source of every good, through Mary,' 
as the before-named writer pretends; but that they 
assure us that God, who gave us Jesus Christ, wills 
that all graces that have been, that are, and will be 
dispensed to men to the end of the world through the 
merits of Christ, should be dispensed by the hands and 
through the intercession of Mary. 

And thus Father Suarez concludes, that it is the 
sentiment of the universal Church, ^that the inter- 
cession and prayers of Mary are, above those of all 
others, not only useful, but necessary.'** Necessary, 
in accordance with what we have already said, not 
with an absolute necessity ; for the mediation of Jesus 
Christ alone is absolutely necessary; but with a moral 
necessity ; for the Church believes with Saint Bernard, 
that God has determined that no grace shall be 

^ Ideo omnia dona, Tirtates et g^ratis ipsiu Spiritoi Suiotf, qidbof Yidt 
fUUddo Tnlt, qnomodo Tuli, et quantam yolt, per manas ipainf adminifiraaf 
tor. — Serm. de Nativ. B. M. V. cap. viii. 

^ Qai qnidqaid boni dat creatoriB snii, per ma^ant matrii Tbgiidt Tolt 
tiansire.— 2>e Laud, Virg, lib. ii. cap. 3. 

^ Accede ad Tirginem, quia per ipsam, et in ipsa, et onra ipsa, «t ab ipea 
babet mnndus et habitoros ett omne bonum. — De ConUmpl. B. F. in proL 

^ Sentit eooleda Tiiginia interoeadonem et orationem |«i omnibm 

■lilf sibi eMe ntilem ao oeoeMaridm.— Z>e Jneamat, p. ii. %. 37, di^. U^ 

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90 tHSS 1)0 wiB gioa. 131 

gmnted otherwise than by the hands of Mary. ' Grod 
wills,' says the Saint, Hhat we should have notliing 
that has not passed by the hands of IMary f^ and be- 
fore Saint Bernard, Saint Ildephonsus asserted the 
Bame thing, addressing the Blessed Virgin in the follow- 
ing terms : ' Mary, God has decided on committing 
all good gifts that he has provided for men to thy 
hands ; and therefore He has intrusted all treasures 
and riches of grace to thee.'^ And therefore Saint 
Peter Damian remarks,**^ ' that God would not become 
man without the consent of Mary; in the first place, 
that we might feel ourselves under great obligations 
to her; and in the second, that we might understand 
that the salvation of all is left to the care of this 
Blessed Virgin.' 

Saint Bona venture, on the words of the projhei 
Isaias,- " And there shall come forth a rod out of the 
root of Jesse, and a flower shall rise up out of his root, . 
and the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,"^ makes 
a beautiful remark, saying: 'Whoever desires the 
sevenfold grace of the Holy Spirit, let him seek for 
the flower of the Holy Ghost in the rod.' That is, for 
Jesns in Mary ; ' For by the rod we find the flower, 
and by the flower, God.' And in the twelfth chapter 
of the same work, he adds, ' If you desire to possess 
this flower, bend down the rod, which bears the flower, 
by prayer ; and so you will obtain it.'*^ The seraphi- 
eal father, in his sermon for the Epiphany, on the 
words of St. Matthew, " They found the child, with 
Mary his Mother," reminds ns, that if we wish to find 

** Nih9 DOS Dens habere Toloit, quod per Maria manos non tranikvt.— 
Mtrm. iii. in Vig. Nat. Dom. 

^ Omnia bona qase illis gamma mt^^tas deorevit fiuiere, tnis manibns 
deei«Tit commendare : commisgi qoippe sunt tibi thesauri et omamenta gra- 
tiamm. — In Cor. Virg. cap. 15. 

^ Paooinoh. in Ps. Izzzvi. ezo. 1. 

^ Et egredietur rirga de radioe Jesse, et flos de radice ejus ascendet, ei 
reqaiesoet saper 6am Spiritas Domini. — Is, zi. 1. 

^ Qoicamqae septiformem Spiritus Scmcti gratiam adipisci desiderat, ipse 
florem Spiritus Sanoti in virga qosrat : per virgam enim ad florem. pwflo- 
rem ad spiritum, in ipso requiescentem pervenimus — Si bono florem habtN 
dMUera% viigam floris preofboi fleotas.— iS|pee. B, M. F. iMt Ti. d ili 

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Jesus we miist go to Mary.^ We may, then, conclnde, 
that in vain shall we seek for Jesos, unless we en- 
deavour to find Him with Mary. And so Saint Ilde- 
phonsus says, ' I desire to be the servant of the Son ; 
but because no one will ever be so without serving 
the Mother, for this reason I desire the servitude H 

Vincent of Beauvais'^ and Gsesarius^ relate that 
there was a certain noble youth who had reduced him- 
self by his vices from a state of opulence, in which he 
had been left by his father, to one of such poverty,' that 
he was obliged to beg his bread. He left his coun- 
try, that he might be able to live with less shame in a 
'place where he was unknown. On his road, he one 
day met a man who had formerly been his father's 
servant. This man, seeing him in such affliction, on 
account of the distress into which he had fallen, told 
him to be of good heart, for he would take him to a 
prince who was so liberal, that he would be provided 
with all he could desire. This abandoned wretch was 
a sorcerer ; and one day he led the poor youth to a 
wood, near a lake, and began to address an invisible 
person. The youth asked him to whom he was speak- 
ing. He replied, 'To the devil;' but seeing that the 
young man was alarmed, he encouraged him, and told 
him to fear nothing ; and then continued to address 
the evil spirit, and said: 'Master, this young man is 
reduced to the greatest poverty; he would wish to be 
reinstated in his possessions.' 'If he will obey me,' 
replied the fiend, 'I will make him richer than ever; 
but, in the first place, he must renounce God.' This 

** iDTenerant pa«ram cam Iforis matre ejiif. Si enro hnne paeraa lin 
lirmiire, ad Manam accede. — Serm, It. Dom, ii^. 8, Nat, D, 

*i Ut din deyotna serviu filii (genexsti), terTttatem fldeliter appeto gm^ 
tM».-'De VirffinitaUJS, Mar, cap. ziL 

• Spec. Hist. 1. yii. 0. 105. 

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horrified tbe young man -, but being incited to it bj 
that cnrsed magician^ be complied, and renounced biB 
Crod. ' But tbat is not enougb/ added tbe devil ; ' he 
must also renounce Mary, for to her we are indebted 
for our greatest losses. 0, how many does she not 
snatch from our hands, and lead back to God, and 
save I' * Ah, no,' answered the youth, 'that I will 
never do ; deny my Mother, indeed f she is all my 
hope ; rather would I go begging all my life long ; ' 
and so saying, he left the spot. On his return, he 
passed by a church dedicated to Mary. The afflicted 
, youth entered, and cast himself on his knees before her 
image, and began to weep, and implore her to obtain 
him the pardon of his sins. He had scarcely done so, 
when Mary began to iigtercede with her Son for the 
poor wretch. Jesus at first replied : ' But, Mother, 
this ungratefal soul has denied Me.' But on seeing 
that His Mother did not cease to pray. He said 
finally, * Mother, I never denied thee anything ; he 
is forgiven, since thou askest it.' The person who had 
purchased all the property of the young spendthrift 
was concealed in the chapel, and heard all that passed, 
and witnessed the compassion of Mary towards this 
sinner. He had an only daughter, and determined to 
give her to the young man in marriage, and make him 
heir of all he possessed. And thus did this youth recover 
both the grace of God and his temporal poeBOSsioni 
by the means of Maiy. 


my soul, see what a sore hope of salvation and 
eternal life our lord has given thee, by having in His 
mercy inspired thee with confidence in the patronage of 
His Mother; and this, notwithstanding that so many 
times by thy sins then hast merited His displeasure 
and hell. Thank thy God, and thank thy protectress 
Marji who has oondescended to take thee under hv. 

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mantle; for of this thon may est be well o3nviiioecl| 
after the many graces that thou hast received by her 
means. yes, I do thank thee, my most loving Mother, 
dor all thou hast done for me who am deserving of hell. 
And from how many dangers hast thou not delivered 
me, O Queen ! How many inspirations and meicief 
hast thou not obtained for me from God ! What ser- 
vice, what honour, have I ever rendered thee, thai 
thou shouldst do so much for me f 

I know that it is thy sole goodness that has im- 
pelled thee. Ah, too little would it be in comparison 
with all that I owe thee, did I shed my blood and* 
give my life for thee ; for thou hast delivered me from 
eternal death ; thou hast enabled me, as I hope, to re- 
covet Divine grace ; to thee, in fine, I owe all I have. 
My most amiable Lady, I, poor wretch that I am, can 
make thee no return but that of always loving and 
praising thee. Ah, disdain not to accept the tender 
affection of a poor sinner, who is inflamed with love for 
thy goodness. If my heart is unworthy to love thee, 
because it is impure and filled with earthly affections, 
it is thou who must change it. Ah, change it, then. 
Bind me to my God, and bind me so that I may never 
more have it in my power to. separate myself from Hig 
love. Thou askest of me that I should love thy God, 
and I ask of thee that thou shouldst obtam this love 
for me, to love Him always ; this is aU that I desire. 

Section II. ITie same sut^ect contmu/ed. 

iSaint Bernard says, Hhat as a man and a woman oo* 
Operated in our ruin, so it was proper that another man 
and another woman shouli cooperate in our redemp- 
tion, and these two were Jesus and his Mother Mary.' 
^ There is no doubt,' says the Saint, ^ that Jesus Ghnst 
alone was more than sufficient to redeem us ; but it waa 
more becoming that both sexes should cotfperaid in the 

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to TfnclB BO Wfi SIGtt 141 

reparation of an evil in causing wliioh bi th had sliared.'^ 
Hence blessed Albert the Great calls Mary, the helper 
c>f redemption i** and the Blessed Virgin herself re- 
vealed to Saint Bridget, that ^ as Adam and Eve sold 
the world for an apple, so did she with her Son redeem 
it as it were with one heart.'' This is confirmed by 
Slant Anselm, who says, ^ that although Grod coald 
er^ate the world ont of nothing, yet, when it was lost 
by sin. He would not repair the evil without the co 
dperation of Mary/* 

Suarez says,* ' that Mary coCperated in our salvation 
in three ways ; first, by having merited by a merit of 
congruity the Incarnation of the Word ; secondly, by 
naving continually prayed for us whilst she was living 
in this world ; thirdly, by having willingly sacrificed 
the life of her Son to God.' For this reason our Lord 
has justly decreed, that as Mary cooperated in the sal- 
vation of man with so much love, and at the same time 
gave such glory to God, so all men through her inter- 
, cession are to obtain their salvation. 

Mary is called ^ the coOperator in our justification ; 
fbr to her God has intrusted all graces intended for us ;• 
and therefore Saint Bernard affirms, ' that all men, past, 
present, and to come, should look upon Mary as the 
means and negotiator of the salvation of all ages.'^ 

Jesus Christ says, that no one can find Him unless 
the Eternal Father first draws him by the meanp of 
Divine grace ; " No one comes to me unless my Father 

> Ckmgtntnn magfi, nt adeMet nottne repamtioni Mznt aierq[iM^ ^pnoram 
•ORnptioni neater defoiaset — Serm. in Sign, Magn. 

* A^lntrix redemptionis.— <9uf>er Miu. q. 29. § 3w 

* Sioni enim Adam et Eva yendiderunt mandam pro imo porno, do IWnt 
■MU et ego redemimoi muDdnm qnati onm ano oorde. — ^LiS. L o. 35. 

^ Qui potnit omnia de nihilo &cere, nolnit ea yiolate dne Maria rellotra. 
•^In D^. li. ad B. V, 

* De Ine. p. 8. d. 23. $ 1. 

* Aoxiliatrix nostrw Jnstifioationls, quia Dens omnes gratiaf fludeodaa 
Martb eojxaxuaiL—BemardiHut de Btuti$. Maridl p. 3. § u 

' Ad Ulam. . .siont ad medium, liont ad aroam Dei, dent ad remm cnt 
■UQf tiont ad negotiam snonlomm respioiant, et qui ooelo habitant, «t ooi is 
InfiMao. et qo! AM pitBOeffenmt, et not qui loiiraik et qui ieqat:tuv-«Nniik 

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draws him.''^ Thus also does Jesus addreso His Mothei^ 
says Richard of Saint Lawrence : ' No one comes to Me 
uidess My Mother first of all draws him by her prayers.** 
Jesus was the fruit of Mary, as Saint Elizabeth told her : 
^'Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the 
fruit of thy womb."^® Whoever, therefore, desires the 
fruit must go to the tree ; whoever desires Jesus must 
go to Mary^ and whoever finds Mary will most cer- 
tainly find Jesus. 

When Saint Elizabeth saw that the most Blessed 
Virgin had come to visit her in her own house, not 
knowing how to thank her, and filled with hunuility, 
she exclaimed : ^' And whence is this to me, that the 
Mother of my Lord should visit me f '^^ But how could 
this be f we may ask. Did not Saint Elizabeth already 
know that not only Mary, but also Jesus, had entered 
her house t Why then does she say that she is un- 
worthy to receive the Mother, and not rather, that she 
is uuworthy to receive the Son, who had come to visit 
her f Ah, yes, it was that the Saint knew full well that 
when Mary comes she brings Jesus, and therefore it' 
was sufficient to thank the Mother without naming the 

^^ She is like the merchant's ship, she bringeth her 
bread from afar.''^ Mary was this fortunate ship that 
brought us Jesus Ghrist from heaven, who is the living 
bread that comes down from heaven to give us etem^ 
life, as He Himself says: "I am the living bread, which 
came down from heaven : if any man eat of this bread^ 
he shall live for ever.''^ And hence Bichard of Saint 
Lawrence says, Hhat in the sea of this world all wiU 

' Nemo potest Tenire ad me, nid pater, qui misit me, traxeiU enm. Ji w a 

* K«mo renit ad me, nisi mater measali precibni traxeritenm.— -2>e£aiid 
B, M, 1. 12. p. 2. 

'^ Benedicta tu inter mnllereg, et benediotof finotoi Tentris toi.— XiML L 

'^ Et nnde hoc mihi, at reniat mater Domini mei ad me f-^Lue, 4. 43. 

^ Facta est quasi navis institoris, de longe portans panem aiinm.F— (ffrwi. 

» Ego sum panls yiyns, qui de o«b1o desoendL 8i qois 
mo pane, viyet in Mtemom.— ^roaii. Ti. 51, 58. 

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be lost whj axe not received into tbis ship j that is to 
say, all who are not protected by Mary ;' and therefore 
he adds, 'As often as we see ourselves in danger of 
perishing in the midst of the temptations and contend 
ing passions of this life, let us have recourse to Mary, 
and cry out quickly, Lady, help jjiBy save us, if thou 
wilt not see us perish.'^* And remark, by the by, 
that this writer does not scruple to address these woidi 
to Mary: 'Save us, we perish;' as does a certain 
author already noticed, and who says, that we cannot 
ask Mary to save us, as this belongs to Grod alone. 
But since a culprit condemned to death can beg a royal 
favourite to save him by interceding with the king 
that his life may be spared, why cannot we ask the 
Mother of God to save us by obtaining us eternal lifet 
Saint John Damascen scrupled not to address her in 
these words : ' Pure and immaculate Virgin, save me, 
and deliver me fiem eternal damnation.'^ Saint 
Bonaventure called Mary ' the salvation of those who 
iQVoked her.'^* The holy Church approves of the invo- 
cation by also calling her the ' salvation of the weak.^' 
And shall we scruple to ask her to save us, when 'the 
way of salvation is open to none otherwise than through 
Mary V^^ as a certain author remarks. And before mm 
Saint Germanus had said the same thing, speaking of 
Mary : ' No one is saved but through thee.'^^ 

But let us now see what else the Saints say of the 
need in which we are of the intercession of the Divine 
Mother. T4ie glorious Saint Cajetan useit to say, chat 
we may seek for graces, but shall never find them 
without the intercession of Mary. This is confirmed 

^ Ib mare mondi sabmergentur omnes Hli, qnos non saioipit nsvis iatm 

Idso qnoties Tidemns insui^entes saper nos flactas ejas majis, olunart 

deb«mQ8 ad Mariam Domina, salva nos, perimns.— I>e Laud, V. lib. ad. 

cap. 8. 

'* A gehenna et a flamma libra me, O Virgo Immaonlata Inezpngiuk 

bill tuo ao divine prsesidio, libera et salva me. — Paracletica in S, Deip, 

** Tn salus te inyocantium.— ITym. de B. M, V, ad inH. T$ Jkum, 

'' Sains infirmorum. 

» Kemini nisi per earn patet aditas ad taliitem.— Pocefudk. de M, Fti^ 
1mP». Izzzri. exe. 1. 

>* Hmm Mlatii oompot bU ptr to» Dslpaim.— Jfi Dmrm, M, T, Onk & 

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144 TO THES t}o Mr& Stan. 

by Saint Antomnus, who thus beautifully expfessM 
himself: 'Whoever asks and expects to obtain graces 
without the intercession of Mary, endeavours to fly 
without wings j'^ for, as Pharaoh said to Joseph, "the 
lAtd of Egypt is in thy hands," and addressed all wbj 
came to him for food to Joseph, " Go to Joseph,''*^ so 
does God send us to Mary when we seek for grace: 
''Go to Mary;" for 'He has decreed,' says Saint 
Bernard, 'that He will grant no graces otherwise 
than by the hands of Mary.'^ 'And thus,' says 
Richard of Saint Lawrence, 'our salvation is in 
the hands of Mary; so that we Christians may 
with much greater reason say of her than the Egyp- 
tians of Joseph, "Our salvation is in thy hands/"^ 
The venerable Raymond Jordano repeats the same 
thing: 'Our salvation is in her hands.'^ Oassian 
flpeaks in still stronger terms. He says absolutely, 
'that the salvation of all depends on their being favoured 
and protected by Mary.'^ He who is protected by Mary 
will be saved ; he who is not will be lost. Saint Ber- 
nardino of Sienna thus addresses this Blessed Virgin : 
' Lady, since thou art the dispenser of all graces, and 
since the grace of salvation can only come through thy 
hands, our salvation depends on tbee.'^ Therefore, 
Richard of St. Lawrence had good reason for saying, 
that ' as we should fall into the abyss, if the ground 
were withdrawn from under our feet, so does a soul de- 
prived of the succour of Mary first fall into sin, and then 
into hell.'^ Saint Bonaventure says, that ' God will 

** Qui petit fine ipsa daoe, sine pennis sea alis tentat Yolare.~P. 30. ttt» 
15, e. S2. 
^n Ite ad Joiepb.— fl^ xU 55. 

" Totnm nos habere voluit per Mariam. — Serm. de Nativ. B. Virg. 

** SiJos nostra in mana illins est, at ei dicere multo verios valeamos noi 
Oluristiani, qaam dixerint Mgy^i\j Joseph : Salos nostra in mana taa est.— 
De Laud. Virg. lib. ii. cap. 1. 

** Salos nostra in manu ilHus est — De Contempt B. V. in prol. 

M Tota sains homani generis oonsistit in maltitadine gratia ISsAm fl 
fcvoris.— P«»ar«. SteU. 1. 12. p. 1. a. 3. 

** Ta dispensatriz omniam gratiaram : salos nostra in mana toa estn— 
Betm. \. de Nativ. B. Virg. 

" Qaia sabtraota terra, statim desoendimos in infemam viTantes, slo mb* 
tensto nobis a4Jut9rio Marias, statim labimor ia peowtom, at lad* is loftp 
poBu— iDsXmmL Virg, lib. tUi. oa^ 1. 

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not ttkve ns withcat the interoession of Mary.''* And 
that ' as a child cannot live without a nurse to sackle 
Hy 80 no one can be saved withput the protection of 
Mary.'*^ Therefore he exhorts us 'to thirst after 
devotion to her, to preserve it with care, and never to 
abandon it until we have received her maternal bless- 
ing in heaven.'^ •And whoever,' exclaims Saint 
Germanus, 'could know God, were it not for thee, 
O most holy Mary f who could be saved f who would 
be preserved firom dangers f who would receive any 
grace, were it not for thee, Mother of God, full of 
grace V The following are the beaptiful words in 
which he expresses himself : ' There is no one, most 
holy Mary, who CMi know God but through thee ; no 
one who can be saved or redeemed but through theOi 
Mother of God ; no one who can be delivered £rom 
dangers but through thee, Virgin Mother ; no one 
who obtains mercy but throuffh thee, O filled with all 
grace.'^^ And in another place, addressing her, he 
says, ' No one would be free from the effects of the con- 
cupiscence of the flesh and from sin, unless thou didst 
open the way to him.'® 

And as we have access to the Eternal Father, says 
Saint Bernard, only through Jesus Christ, so have we 
access to Jesus Christ only through Mary : ' By thee 
we have access to the Son, blessed finder of grace, 
bearer of life, and mother of salvation, that we may 
receive Him by thee, Who through thee was given to 
ug 733 rpjjig ig ^Q reason given by the Saint why owr 

>* IpM fine ea son falvabit te.—Cant B. M. V. itut ittiut Mo^ 

** Qaemadmodnm in&ns sine mitrioe non potest fWen ; Ita neo AH9 
Domina nostra potes habere salutem.— i&. 

*> Sitiat ergo anima toa ad ipsam, tene earn, neo dimitte, doneo benedlz* 
•fit tibi.— i5. 

" Nemo Dei oo^^itione repletos est, nisi per te, O SanctissiiDa; neme 
salatis compos, nisi per te, Deipara; nemo redemptas, uisi per te, Dei Ma* 
ter; nemo pericnla eradit, nisi per te, Virgo Dei Matez ; nemo miserioordia 
eonseqsitor gzatiam, nisi per te, O Dei gratia plena.~J» Dorm, S, F. 
Orat. il 

^ Nisi enim tn dncatam prastares, nemo spiritoalis effioeretnr.— ift. 

*" Per te aocessam habemus ad filian, O benediota inventrix gratia, genii 
tris yitsB, mater saldtis ; at per te not sofcipiat, qui per te dateiett leWt.^ 

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Lord has determined that all shall be sa^ed by the in 
tercession of Mary; and therefore he calls her the 
Mother of grace and of our salvation. ' Then/ asks 
Saint Germanus, ' what will become of us t what hope 
can we have of salvation^ if thou dost abandon us, O 
Mary, who art 4;he life of Christians 1'^ 

^Bnty' says the modem author ^already quoted, ^if 
all graces come through Mary, when we implore the 
intercession of other Saints, they must have recourse 
to the mediation of Mary. But that,' he says, ^no one 
believes or ever dreamt.' As to believing it, I reply, 
that in that there can be no error or difficulty. What 
difficulty can there be in saying that God, in order to 
honour His Mother, and having' made her Queen of 
Saints, and willing that all graces shall be dispensisd 
by her hands, should also mil that the Saints should 
address themselves to her to obtain favours for theii 
clients 1 And as to saying that no one ever dreamt of 
0uch a thing, I find that Saint Bernard, Saint Anselm, 
Saint Bonaventure, Suarez,^ and others, expressly de- 
clare it to be the case. * In vain,' says Saint Bernard, 
'would a person ask other Saints for a favour, if Mary 
did not interpose to obtain it.** Some other author, . 
explaining die words of the Psalm, ''All the rich 
among the people shaU entreat thy countenance,"^ 
says, 'that the Saints are the rich of that great peo- 
ple of God, who, when they wish to obtain a favour 
from God for their clients, recommend themselves to 
Mary, and she immediately obtains it.' And Father 
Snarez correctly remarks, 'that we beg the Saints 
to be our intercessors with Mary, because she is 
their Queen and Sovereign Lady.' 'Amongst the 
Saints,' he says, ' we do not make use of one to inter- 
oede with the other^ as all are of the same order | but 

** Si to DOS deseraerii, qaonam oonftigiemas t qoldnam aotom da noUi 
ist, O sanotiflsima Deipara, splritoi et vita Ghristianonim t— I>e 2kma Vir^ 

* I>« InoarDat. p, iL q. 37, diip. S3. $ 3. 
I ** Frastra a]i<M Muiotos oraret qaem ifta non a^JvTaret. t 

^ Tollam taam d«pf«oa1i>anUu omnM dMtti pto b ifc- ^ fffc sBr. U^ 

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we do ask them to intercede with Marji becaoBe she 
b their Sovereign and Queen.'^ 

And this is precisely what Saint Benedict promised 
to Saint Frances of Rome, as we read in Father Mar- 
ohese f^ for he appeared to her, and taking her nnder 
his protection^ he promised that he wonld be her advo 
oate with the Divine Mother. In confirmation of thifl^ 
Saint Anselm addresses onr Blessed Lady and says, 
' Lady, whatever all the Saints, united with thee, can 
obtain, thou canst obtain alone.**® * And why is this f 
asks the Saint ^ ' why is it that thou alone nast such 
mat power f Ah, it is because thou alone art the 
Mother of onr common Redeemer ; thou art the spouse 
of God ; thou art the universal Queen of Heaven and 
earth.*^ If thou dost not speak for us, no Saint will 
pray for or help us.^ But if thou beginnest to pray for 
us, then will all the Saints do the same and succour us.^ 
So that Father Segneri,** in his Devout Client of Mary, 
applying with the Catholic Church the words of Eccle- 
siasticus to her, *^ 1 alone have compassed the circuit of 
heaven,''^ says, that ' as the first sphere by its motion 
seta all the others in motion, so it is when Mary prays 
for a soul^ immediately the whole heavenly court be- 
gins to pray with her.' *Nay, more,' says Saint Bona- 
venture, ^whenever the Most sacred Virgin goes to God 
to intercede for us, she, as Queen, commands all the 
Angels and Saints to accompany her, and unite their 
prayers with hers.*^ 

And thus, finally, do we understand why the holy 

** Inter allof mumsIm non atemtur quo at faitero«8ior« ad aliiim, quia 
0nm«s font eiasdem ordinit. Ad ▼izginem autem tanqaam ad recnnam at 
4Gamiiam alii adhibentor interceMoret. — Tom. xriL q. 37, art 4, & 3. 

» Nel diario di Maria a]le 21 de Marao. 

^ Quod poflsant omnoa isti teoam, ta tola potot fine Ulif omnibiii.— Orat 
zIt. ad B. Virg, 

«i Qaia mater oa Salyatorls noetri, aponsa De!, reg^ ooili et toma.— ift. 

^ Te taoenta, nalloa orabit, nolliu jayabit— /&• 

^ Te <Mrante, omnes orabant, omoes Javabunt— i(. 

«• DiT. di M. p. 1. o. 7. $ 4. 

^ OTrnm oali olroaiTi sola. — Scti. xxir. S. 

u Qcuuido Tixgo sano' JMima procedit ad Deam pro aobls depraeanduni^ 
Infant angelia et aanotia, at earn comitentor, at simal cam iptft AlHwhaw 
fta BoMa axactat— PoontedL ti^Mr. JSnk Ang. azio. 19. 

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Oliuroli requires that we should salute and invoke thf^ 
Divine Mother under the glorious title of ' our hope.'*** 
The impious Luther said, Uhat he could not eiidpre 
that the Eoman Church should call Mary, who is only 
a creature, " our hope f for/ said he, * God alone,.aii4 
Jesus Ghnst as our Mediator, is our hope : and God 
curses those wbo place their hope in a creature, accord- 
ing to the prophet Jeremias, '^ Cursed be the man that 
trusteth in man.'''^ But the Church teaches us to in- 
voke Mary on all occasions, and to call her ^our hope ; 
hail, our hope !' Whoever places his confidence in a 
creature independently of God, he certainly is cursed by 
God ; for G^d is the only source and dispenser of every 
good, and the creature without God is nothing, and can 
give nothing. But if our Lord has so disposed it, as we 
have already proved that He has done, that all graces 
should pass by Mary as by a channel of mercy, we not 
only can but ought to assert that she, by whose means 
we receive the ^vine graces, is truly our hope. And 
therefore Saint Bernard says, ' that she is his greatest 
confidence, and the whole foundation of his hope.'^ 
Saint John Damascen says the same thing : for he thui 
addresses the most Blessed Virgin : * Lady, in thee 
have I placed all my hope ; and with my eyes fixed on 
thee, from thee do I expect salvation.'*^ Saint Thomaa 
says, that ' Mary is the whole hope of our salvation ;^ 
and Saint Ephrem, addressing her, says, ' most holy 
Virgin, receive us under thy protection, if thou wilt see 
us saved, for we have no hope (d salvation but through 
thy means.'*® 

Let us, then, in the words of Samt Bernard, ' en 
deavour to venerate this Divine Mother with the whol« 

*' Spes nostra salve. 

^ Kalediotns homo qxd ooofidH in homino.— JTcrem. zrii, 5. 

^ Filioli, luBc peocatonun scala, hao mea nuudma fidacia et^ hao toift 
latio spei mea. — In Nat, B. Jf, F. Serm. L 

*® In te spem meam totam ex anlmo collooaTi, et intentis oonUs abt ti 
pendeo.— ParoeleMba in S, Deip, 

" Omnis spes y\\ab,~~Exp. in SaZ. Ang* 

** Hon nobis est alia qnam in te fidacia, O Viigo tlnoerliiilnMk 89b ^1^ 
dtniqoe tntela et protaotlooe toti •amus.— i^ Xtfiuf Tir§ 

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affecdoD of omr hearts ; for suoli is the will of God; wlio 
IB pleased that we shonld receive every good thing from 
her hand.'^ And thwefore the Saint exhorts us, when- 
eve£ we desire or ask for any grace, to recommend our- 
selves to Mary, and to be assured that we shaU receiye 
it by her means f^ for he saytf, if thou dost not deserve 
the favour from God, Mary, who will ask it foT theOi 
will deserve to receive it j * because thou wast unworthy 
of the ^ft, it was bestowed on Mary, that through her 
thou mightest receive all that thou hast.'^ The Saint 
then advises us to recommend all that we offer to God 
to the care of Mary, be they good works or prayers, if 
we wish our Lord to accept them. ^ Whatever thou 
mayest offer to Otod, be sure to recommend it to Maiji 
in order not to meet with a repulse.^ 

The history of Theophilus, written by Sutyohiasiy 
patriarch of Constantinople, and who was an eye-wit- 
ness of the fact he relates, is well known. It is attested 
by Saint Peter Damian, Saint Bernard, Saint Bonaven- 
ture, Saint Antoninus, and by others quoted by Father 
Crasset.^ Theophilus was archdeacon of the church 
of Adana, a city of Gilicia, and he was held in such 
veneration by the people that they wished to have him 
for their bisljop, but he, out of humility, refused the 
dignity. It happened that evil-disposed persons accused 
him falsely of some crip^, and for which he was de- 
posed from his archdeaconry. He took this so much to 
heart, that, blinded by passion, he went to consult a 

" TotU....iiiediilI!0 oordiam, totis pneoordloram affeotibm, et TOtli «■• 
aibos Mariam hano veneremar ; quia sio Mt Tolontat fltjua, qui totom BM 
haliere yoluit per Mariam.— iSerm. de Aqtued, 

** Qmeramos gratiam, et per Mariam qcueramiUL— /&. 

" Qtiia indiffnns eras, oui donaretur, datum est Maris, ut per iOam mod' 
peret quioqaid haberes.~<Serm. UL in Vig. Nat. Dom, 

** Modioam istnd quod oiferre desideras, gratisiimte ilUf at omni acoq^ 
UoDe dignissimis Marin manibus offerendom iradere ooxa, ii bob ▼]• PMlU 
Bera repaltam.~<Serm. dt Aqumd. 

" ?«B. I>«T. p. L «r. 1. ^ 10. 

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Jewish magician^ wbo made him consult Satan, that he 
might help him in his misfortune. The de\al told him 
that if he desired to be helped by him, he must re- 
nounce Jesus and His MotW Mary, and consign him 
the act of renunciation written in his own hand. Theo- 
philujg immediately complied with the demand. Tlie 
next day, the bishop having discovered that he had 
been deceived, asked the archdeacon's pardon, and 
restored him to office. No sooner was this accom- 
Dlished than his conscience was torn with remorse, and 
be could do nothing but weep. What could he do t 
fle went to a church, and there casting himseK all in 
tears at the feet of an image of Mary, he thus addressed 
her : ' Mother of God, I will not despair as long as 
1 can have access to thee, who aH so compassibnate, 
and hast the power to help me.' He remained thus 
weeping and praying to our Blessed Lady for forty 
days — ^when, lo, one night, the Mother of Mercy ap- 
peared to him, and said : ' O Theophilus, what hast 
thou done 1 Thou hast renounced my friendship and 
that of my Son, and for whomt For His and my 
eileniy.' *0 Lady,' answered TheophDus, 'thou must 

Surdon me, and obtain my forgiveness from thy Son.' 
ary seeiiig his confidence, replied : * Be of good heart; 
I will intercede for thee with God.' Theophilus, eii- 
conraged by theie consoling words, redoubled his tears, 
mortifications, and prayers, and never left the ima^e. 
At length Mary again appeared to him, and with a 
cheerful countenance said : * Theophilus, be of good 
hfeart ; I have presented thy tears and prayers to God j 
Hi6 has accepted them, and has already pardoned thee ; 
btiil from this day fbrward be grateful to Hini and 
faithful.' * But, Lady,' replied Theophilus, * that m 
hot yet enough to satisfy me entirely ; the enemy still 
possesses that impious writing in which I renounced 
thee and thy Son. Thou canst oblige him to su^^n- 
der it.' Tlu-ee days afterwards, Theophilus awok^* in 
lie niffht, and found the writing on his breast, ^9m 
iho foUowing day he went to ue okuroh where ^ 

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biBbop was, and, in presence of an immense conooursa 
of people, cdst himself at his feet, and with bitter tears 
related all that had taken place, and delivered into his 
hands the infamous writing. The bishop committed it 
to the flames in the presence of the whole people, who 
did* nothing but weep for joy, and praise the goodness 
of God, and the mercy of Mary shown towards this 
poor sinner. But he, returning to the church of our 
Blessed Lady, remained there for three days, and then 
expired, his heart filled with joy, and returning thanks 
to Jesus and to His most holy Motlier, 


Queen and Mother of mercy, who dispensest 
graces to all who have recourse to thee with so much 
liberality, because thou art a Queen, and with so mucb 
love, because thou art our most loving Mother ; to thee 
do I, who am so devoid of merit and virtue, and sc 
loaded with debts to the Divine justice, reconimena 
myself this day. Mary, thou boldest the keys of all 
the Divine mercies ; forget not my miseries, and leave 
me not in my poverty. Thou art so liberal with all, 
and givest more than thou art asked for, 0, be thus 
liberal with me. Lady, protect me j this is all that 
I ask of thee. If thou protectest me, I fear nothing. 
I fear not the evil spirits; for thou art more powerfol 
than all of them. I fear not my sins ; for thou by one 
word canst obtain their full pardon from God. And if 
I have thy favour, I do not even fear an angry God ; 
foi a single prayer of tbine will appease Him. In 
fine, if thou protectest me, I hope all ; for thou art all- 
powerful. Mother of mercy, I know that thou takest 
pleasure and dost glory in helping the most miserable, 
and, provided they are not obstinate, that thou canst 
help them. I am a sinner, but am not obstinate ; I 
desire to change my life. Thou canst, then, help me; 
0, help me and save me. I now place myseH 

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entirely in thy hands. Tell me what I mast do in 
order to please God, and I am ready for all, and hope 
to do all with thy help, Mary — ^Mary my Mother, 
my liglit, my consolation, my refuge, my hope. 

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SbctiokL MaryisanAdvoaxtewTioisdlAetosavetdL 

So great is the antliority that mothers possess over their 
sons, that even if they are monarchs, and have absolute 
dominion over every person in their kingdom^ yet never 
can mothers become the subjects of their sons. It is 
true that Jesus now in heaven sits at the right hand of 
the Father, that is, as Saint Thomas^ explains it, even 
as man, on account of the hypostatical union with the 
Person of the Divine Word. He has supreme dominion 
over all, and also over Mary ; it will nevertheless be 
always true that for a time, when He was living in this 
world, He was pleased to humble Himself and to be 
snbject to Mary, as we are told by St. Luke: "And He 
was snbject to them.'^^ And still more, says Saint 
Ambrose, Jesus Ghiist having deigned to make Mary 
His Mother, inasmuch as He was ber Son, He was 
truly obliged to obey her. And for this reason, says 
Bichard of Saint Lawrence, 'of other Saints we say that 
they are with God; but of Mary alone can it be said 
that she was so far favoured as to be not only hei-seli 
submissive to the will of God, but even that God was 
subject to her will.'^ And whereas of all other virgins, 

> I>« Haman. L C. a. 23. 

> Et erat stftxlitas illis.— Xuc IL 51. 

' Cam enim de omnibus csteris sanotit dloatnr et uiagnain dt, els esn 

•am Domino Maria mBJvm aliquid ereteris hominibos Sanctis sortita eel* 

■toon solum ipsa sabjiceretorTolontatiDomiiiLsed tHimm DoniaoiT 

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remarks the same author, we must say that, "they fol- 
low the Lamb whithersoever he goeth,''* of the Blessed 
Virgin Mary we can say that the Lamb followed her, 
having become subject to her.^ 

And here we say, that although Mary, now in 
heaven, can no longer command her Son, neverthelesa 
her prayers are always the prayers of a Mother, and 
consequently most powerful to obtain whatever she 
asks. ' Mary,' says Saint Bonaventure, ' has this great 
privilege, that with her Son she above all the Saints 
is most powerful to obtain whatever she wills.'* And 
whyt Precisely for the reason on which we have 
already touched, and which we shall later on again exa- 
mine at greater length, because they are the prayers of a 
mother. And therefore, says Saint Peter Damian, ^e 
Blessed Virgin can do whatever she pleases both in 
heaven and on earth. She is able to raise even those 
who are in despair to confidence ; and he addresses her 
in these words: 'All power is given to thee in heaven 
and on earth, and nothing is impossible to thee, who 
canst raise those who are in despair to the hope of 
salvation.'^ And then he adds that 'when the Mother 
goes to seek a favour for us from Jesus Christ' (whom 
the Saint calls the golden altar of mercy, at which 
sinners obtain pardon), 'her Sou esteems her prayers so 
greatly, and is so desirous to satisfy her, that when she 
prays, it seems as if she rather commanded than prayed, 
and was rather a queen than a handmaid.'^ Jesus is 
pleased thus to honour His beloved Mother, who hon- 
oured Him so much during her life, by immediately 

* Beqaantar agfnam qnooamqne iexit—Apoe, xiy. 4. 

* De ista antem (Virgine Maria) potest secure dioi, quod agnus seqnebatnr 
Mm, qnocunqne ivit unde. — Luc. ii. "Descendit cum els, et Tenit Nazareth, 
•t erat subditus illis.''~Z>e Laud. V. lib. i. cap. 5. 

* Grande privilegium est, quod Ipsa prsB omniboi Sanctis apud Deom po- 
toatissima est —Spec. B. M. V. lect vi. 

' Data est tibi omnis potestas in coelo et in terra. . . .nil tibi impoasibfle, 
•oi possibile est, desperates in spem beatitudinis relevare.— Serm. 1, de Nat, 
B. Virg. 

* Accedif enim ante illnd anream biunan» reoonoUiafionia altara, bob 
•dam rogans, sed imperani : DoMfna, bob aneUla Baas M FUloi alUI 

M, hOB««l tow— lib 

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(nanimg all that she asks or desires. This is beantt- 
Fullj confirmed by Saint OermannS; who addressing our 
Blessed Lady says : ' Thou art the Mother of Grod, and 
all-powerful to save sinners^ and with God thou needosi 
no other recommendation ; for thoa art the Mother of 
trae life,'® 

' At the command of Maiy, all obey, even (Jod/ 
Baint Bemardine fears not to utter this sentence ; mean- 
higf indeed, to say that God grants the prayers of Maiy 
as if they were commands.*® And hence Saint Anselm 
addressing Mary says : ' Our Lord, most holy Virgin, 
has exalted thee to such a degree, that by His favour 
all thin^ thkt are possible to Him should be possible 
to thee.'" * For thy protection is omnipotent, Mary/ • 
says Gosmas of Jerusalem.^ ' Yes, Mary is omnipo- 
tent,' repeats Richard of Saint Lawrence; 'for the 
queen by every law enjoys the same privileges as the 
king. And as,' he adds, ' the power of the son and 
that of the mother is the same, a mother is made 
omnipotent by an omnipotent son.'^ 'And thus,' 
says Saint Antoninus, ' God has placed the whole 
Church, not only under the patronage, but even under 
the dominion of Mary.'^* 

Since the Mother, then, should have the same power 
as the Son, rightly has Jesus, whd is omnipotent, made 
Mary also omnipotent ; though, of course, it is always 
true that where the Son is omnipotent by nature, the 
Mother is only so by grace. But that she is so is evi- 
dent from the fEtct, that whatever the Mother asks for, 

> PlnrimaiD igitar auzilium ttram pollet, O Viigo, ad salntem oonteqnm* 
Aam, neo apud Deum commendatitia alterim oi^aspiain indiget ope : ta enia 
ro^era es vera TitsB mater. — In Dorm. B. V. Orat ii. 

^^ Imperio virginif onmia fiunolantur, et DvaM.—Serm, de Nat B, M* T, 
enp. Ti. 

" Te, domina pia« et omnipotens Deus sio ezaltavU, et omnia tfU 

■eeum poMibili^ asse donavit — De Excel. Virg. cap. xii. 

** Omnipotens auzilium tunm. — Hymn. vi. in D^. ad Deiparam, 

>* Eisdem privilegiis secundum leges gaudent rex et regina. Gum autea 
eadem tit potestas et communis matris et filii, qu» ab omnipotente Alio ooi* 
nil otens est effecta. — Lib. iv. de Laud. Virg. cap. 29. 

" Et necnndum boo tantnm ftiit meritum yirginis, at ecolena sit ' §ah 
petlibus dno,' sub ptotectione ; onde ipsa ait Eoolesiastici xziy. : "In.XfMi 

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the Son never denies her ; and this was revealed to 
Baint Biidget,^ who one day heard Jesus talking with 
Mary, and thus address her : * Ask of Me what thoa 
wilt, for no petition of thine can be void/ As if He 
had said, ' My Mother, thou knowest how much I love 
thee ; therefore ask all that thou wilt of Me ; for it is 
not possible that I should refuse thee anything.' And 
the reason that He gave for this was beautiful : * Be- 
cause thou never didst deny Me anything on earth, I 
will deny thee nothing in heaven.'^^ My Mother, when 
thou wast in the world, thou never didst refuse to do 
anything for the love of Me ; and now that I am in 
heaven, it is right that I should deny thee nothing that 
thou askest. Mary, then, is called omnipotent in the 
sense in which it can be understood of a creature who 
is incapable of a divine attribute. She is omnipotent, 
because by her prayers she obtains whatever she wills. 
With good reason, then, great Advocate, does Saint 
Bernard say, ' thou wiliest, and all things are done.'^' 
And Saint Anselm : * Whatever thou, Virgin, wiliest 
can never be otherwise than accomplished.'^* Thou 
wiliest, and all is done. If thou art pleased to raise a 
sinner from the lowest abyss of misery to the highest 
degiee of sanctity, thou canst do it. Blessed -4Jbert 
the Great, on this su*bject, makes Mary say : * I have 
to be asked that I may will j for if I will a thing, it is 
necessarily done.'^ ArA thus Saint Peter Damian, re- 
flecting on the great power of Mary, and begging her 
to take compassion on us, addresses her, saying ; * O, 
let thy nature move thee, let thy power move thee ; for 
the more thou art powerful, the greater should thy mercy 

>* Pete ergo qaod vis, non enim inanb potett mM oharitaf «l petttio fcua. 
»J2ev. lib. tL cap. 23. 

» Qaia ta mihi nihil negasti in tena, ideo ego tibi aEhil negabo in eotlOb 
-Ifew. lii). I, cap. 24. 

>' Velis to, et omnia fient t 

" Veliii falntem noetiam, eC vere neqaaqnam waM. eiM non pot«rImiia«-> 
Mac. Virg. cap. zii. 

>* Bopnda.iam, atT«Um;qii]a,iiTolo^n«ee«eefti«l./<^2>tX«iHiLAJi: 

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beJ^ Mary, our own beloved advocate^ since ihon 
hast so compassionate a li^art, that thoa canst not even 
see the wretched without being moved to pity and 
rince, at the same time, thou hast so great power with 
God, that thoa canst save all whom thou dost protect,— 
disdain not to undertake the cause of us poor miserable 
creatures who place all our hope in thee. If our 
prayers cannot move thee, at least let thine own benign 
heart do so ; or, at least, let thy power do so, since 
€U)d has enriched thee with such great power, in cider 
that the richer thou art in power to help us, the more 
merciful thou mayest be in the will to asdst us. But 
St. Bernard reassures us on this point ; for he says 
that Mary is as inunensely rich in mercy as she is in 
power ; and that, as her charity is most powerfid, so 
also it is most clement and compasisionate, and its 
effects continually prove it to be so. He thus ex- 
presses himself : ' The most powerful and merciful 
charity of the Mother of God abounds in tender com- 
passion and in effectual succour : it b equally rich in 

Prom the time that Mary came into the world, her 
only thought, after seeking the glory of God, was to 
succour the miserable. And even then she enjoyed the 
privilege of obtaining whatever she asked. This we 
know Kom what occurred at the marriage feast of Gana 
in Galilee. When the wine failed, the most Blessed 
Virgin, being moved to compassion at the sight of the 
affliction and shame of the bride and bridegroom, asked 
her Son to relieve it by a miracle, telling Him that 
"they had no wine.'' Jesus answered: "Woman, what 
is that to thee and Me t My hour is not yet come.''^ 
And here remark, that although our Lord seemed to 
refuse His Mother the favour she asked, and said. 

** lifneax te natnra, potentiu moreat ; quia qaanto potnentior, tanto i 
li«ordior esse debebis. — Serm. i. de Nat. B. Virg. 

^ Potentissima et piissima charitas matris Dei et affecta oompatiendi et 
•abTeniendi abondat effeota; leqae locuples in utroqae. — jSemu ir. d« 

^ Vinum non habent. Et dicit ei Jesos : Quid miri et iiqi wet, \ 
WmUnm TenH hom mttwWcan, ii. 9^ 4. 

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What 18 it to thee^ woman, and to He, if the wine 
has failed f This is not the time for Me to work a 
miracle 3 the time will be when I begin to preach, and 
when miracles will be required to connnn My doctrines. 
And yet Mary, as if the favour had already been granted^ 
desured those in attendance to fill the jars with water, for 
they would be immediately satisfied. And so it was ; for 
J^os, to content His Mother, changed the water into the 
best wine. But how was this 1 As the time for working 
miracles was that of the public life of our Lord, how 
could it be that, contrary to the Divine decrees, thia 
miracle was worked f No ; in thid there was nothing 
contrary to the decrees of God ; for though, generally 
speaking, the time for miracles was not come, yet from 
all eternity God had determined by another decree that 
nothing that she asked should ever be refused to the 
Divine Mother. And therefore Mary, who well knew 
her privilege, although her Son seemed to have refused 
her the favour, yet told them to fill the jars with water, 
as if her request had already been granted. That is the 
sense in which Saint John Chrysostom understood it ; 
for, explaining these words of our Lord, " Woman, what 
is it to thee and Me ?" he says, that ^ though Jesus 
answered thus, yet in honour of His Mother He obeyed 
her wish.'^ This is confirmed by Saint Thomas, who 
says that by the words, " My hour is not yet come,*' 
Jesus Christ intended to show, that had tne request 
come from any other. He would not then have complied 
with it ; but because it was addressed to Him by His 
Mother, He could not refuse it.** Saint Cyril and Saint 
Jerome, quoted by Barradus,** say the same thing. 
Also Gandavensis, on the above passage of Saint 
John, says, that ^ to honour His Mother, our Lord 
anticipated the time for working miracles.'* 

" Cum id respondisset qnod rolebat mater effecit— Abm. in Joam, 

** Per ilia verba, " Dondam venit hora mea." oetendit se dUatnmm 
miraoQlmn, ti alius rogas^et ; quia tamen rog^bat mater, fedt — S. 
%pud Dtftra. CuUtu Mariani, auctore B. P. Henr. de Cerf. p. 129. t 

» T. 2, 1, 3, o. I. 

» Quo matrem honomrwt, pmrtntt tempnt miiMcUa fccttadL-^ 

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In fine, it is certain that no oreatare oan obtain m 
many mercies for us as this te nder a dvocate, who is thai 
honored by God, not only as HisHbeloved handmaid, 
but also as His trae Mother. And this, William of 
Paris says, addressing her, ^ No creature can obtain so 
many and such great favours as thou obtainest for poor 
rinners ; and thus without doubt Grod honours thee nol 
only as a handmaid, but as His most true Mother.'^ 
Mary has only to speak, and her Son executes all. Our 
Lord conversing with the spouse in the sacred Con- 
tides, — ^that is Mary, — says, " Thou that dwellest in the 
gardens, the Mends hearken 5 make me hear thy voice.'** 
The Saints are the friends, and they, when they seek a 
favour for their client&i, wait for their Queen to ask and 
obtain it ; for, as we said in the fifth chapter, ^no grace 
is granted otherwise than at the prayer of Mary.' And 
how does Mary obtain favours ? She has only to let 
her voice be heard, — "make me hear thy voice.'' She 
has only to speak, and her Son immediately grants her 
prayer. Listen to the Abbot William explaining, in 
this sense, the above text. In it he introduces the Son 
addressing Mary : ' Thou who dwellest in the heavenly 
gardens, intercede with confidence for whomsoever thoi 
wilt ,' for it is not possible that I should so far forget 
that I am thy Son as to deny anything to thee, My 
Mother. Only let thy voice be heard j for to be heard 
by a son is to be obeyed.'^ The Abbot Grodfridus says, 
^ that although Mary obtainn favours by asking, yet sh^ 
asks with a certain maternaJ authority, and therefore 
we ought to feel confident that she obtains all she de- 
sires and asks for us.'^ 

^^ ^Ncula creatora, et tot, et tanta, «t talia impetrare posset mpoA 

Denodiotam Filiam taam miseris, qaanta ta (vpud ipeum impetras eisdeia. 
Id qao procaldubio dod tamqaam ancillam svum, qiue indubitanter es, sM 
tamqaam matrem verissimam te honorat. — 2>e Ehet. Div. nap. xviii. 

^ QaaB habitas iu hortis, amici auscultant : £ac me audire vocem tuam.— 
Cant. viii. 13. 

» Qiue habitas in hortis coBlestibos, fiducialiter pro qnibus yolaeris inter- 
•ede ; non enim possum me oblivisci filium tuua, ut n^atri qnidpiam den*- 
gandum pntem. Tantam in vocem proferas, quia » Alio audiii, <iT>nd1ii 

** Honotabilis Tiigo Mari», A illam ez eo quod !>•« et I>omlmif tt^ mm 

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160 o, GBACiotrs advocati. 

Yalerins Maximns^ relates that wben Goriolamu 
was besieging Rome, tke prayers of Ms friends and all 
the citizens were insufficient to make him desist ; bat 
as soon as he beheld his mother Yetoria imploring him, 
he oonld no longer refuse, and immediately raised the 
siege. But the prayers of Mary with Jesus are as muok 
morei powerful than those of Yeturia as the love and 
gratitude of this Son for His most dear Mother are 
greater. Father Justin Micoviensis says that ' a single 
sigh of the most Blessed Mary can do more than the 
united suffrages of all the saints.'^ And this was 
acknowledged by the devil himself to Saint Dominic, 
who, as it is related by Father Pacciuchelli,^ obliged 
him to speak by the mouth of a possessed person j and 
he said that ' a single sigh from Mary was worth more 
before God than the united suffrages of all the Saints/ 

Saint Antoninus says that ' the prayers of the Blessed 
Yirgin, being the pi-ay ers of a Mother, have in them 
something of a command ; so that it is impossible that 
she should not obtain what she asks/^ Saint Germanus, 
encouraging sinners who recommend themselves to this 
advocate, thus addresses her : * As thou hast, Mary, 
the authority of a Mother with God, thou obtainest 
pardon for the most enormous sinners ; since that Lord 
in all things acknowledges thee as His true and spotless 
Mother, He cannot do otherwise than grant what thou 
askest.'^ And so it was that Saint Bridget heard the 
Saints in heaven addressing our Blessed Lady : * O masi 

onn merito ereditnr, ex eo tamen qaod homo est, et natus ex ea, quail 
jQCdam matris imperio. apod ipsum iini>etrare quicqoidvoluecitpUi fldecos 
inbitatar.— Serm. vui. de B. V, M, 

»» Ex mir. 1. 5, o. 4. 

** Vnum BeaUe Virflfinis sospirinm plospotestapud Filiam, qnam omniav 
•aD0tu.un simul snffraffium. — In lit. B. V, verho Virg. pot, 

** In SaL Axkg. exo. 3. 

** Oratio ejiis erat nobilissimns modua orandi, tnm quia habebai rationem 
Insdonis et impeiiL tarn quia impossibile erat earn non exaudirL — P. ir. tit. 
15, o. 17. 

" Ta yero materna qua polles apud Deum anctoritate, ad qnantaniTlt 
enonnia lapels peccata, superabundantem impetras veniam : neqae enim 
miqaam datur te non exauditam dimitti, oui per omnia, et propter omniav 
•t in omnibua, at Ter» et intemerats matri soaobteqaitur Dens.— inltonii^ 
Jl r.Omttt. 

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blessed Queeii, what is there that thou canst not dof 
Thou hast oDly to will, and it is accomplished.'* 
And this corresponds with that celebrated saying, 
* That which God can do by His power, that canat 
tbou do by prayer, sacred Virgin.'^ ' And pef- 
•hance,' says an ancient and pious writer, ' it is un 
worthy of the benignity of that Lord to be thus jeal 
ous of the honour of His Mother, who declares that He 
came into the world, not to break, but to observe the 
law; but this law commands us to honour our 

Saint George, Archbishop of Nicomedia, says that 
Jesus Christ, even as it were to satisfy an obligation 
under which He placed Himself towards His Mother, 
when she consented to give Him His human nature, 
grants all she asks : ' the Son, as if paying a debt, 
grants all thy petitions.'^ And on this the holy mar- 
tyr Saint Methodius exclaims: 'Rejoice, rejoice, 
Mary, for thou hast that Son thy debtor, who gives to all 
and receives from none. We are all God's debtors 
for aU that we possess, for all is His gift ; but God 
has been pleased to become thy debtor in taking flesh 
from thee and becoming man.'^ And therefore an- 
other ancient writer says, ' that Mary, having merited 
to give flesh to the Divine Word, and thus supply the 
price of our redemption, that we might be delivered 
from eternal death ; therefore is she more powerful 
than all others to help us to gain eternal life.'^ 
Saint Theophilus, Bishop of Alexandria, in the time 

*■ O Domina benediota quid est qaodii<mpot«rift Quodenlmta^ 

1m0 laetiun est— JZev. lib. It. cap. 74. 

" Qaod Deus Imperlo ta preoe Virgo potei. 

*■ Knroqaid non pertinet ad benignitatem Domini, Matrit Mrrare hoa» 
wm, qui legem noo folyeie Tenerat, fed adimpleref Lib, dt Attumjf, A 
F. int. cp. S. August, 

** Eaqne, tanqoam Filial ezaltana, pottalata oeu debitor implcL— Or. 4k 
Mitaresiu B, F. 

^ Euge, eage, Del Mater andllaqae. Enge, to qui omnium ereditor Ml 
debitor fit Omnee namqae Deo debemns, tfbique ille debitor est.— ita 
Minuone et Anna. 

^ Neqae enim dubinm qvm raeroit pro Uberandto profSBrre prettnm, po«t 
phis Sanctis omnibus liberatis imp«ndei«) saftagiiun.— vSenn. dt iSiaiMMi^ tfRl 
«^ A AvfiusL Smtm, d^JLitump, A M, 

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of St. Jerome, left in writing the following woida i 
* The prayers of His Mother are a, pleasure to the Son, 
because he desires to grant all thsit is granted on her 
account, and thiis recompense her for the favour she 
did Him in giving Him His body.'** Saint John 
Damascen, addi'essing the Blessed Virgin, says, ' Thou 
O Mary, being Mother of the most high God, cans! 
save all by thy prayers, which are increased in value 
bjr the maternal authority/^ 

Let us conclude with Saint Bonaventure, who con- 
sidering the great benefit conferred on us by our Lord 
in giving us Mary for bur advocate, thus addresses 
her: '0 truly immense and admirable goodness of our 
Gk)d, which has been pleased to grant thee, sovereign 
Mother, to us miserable sinners for our advocate, in 
order that thou, by thy powerful intercession, mayest 
obtain all that thou pleasest for us.'** ' O wonderful 
mercy of our God,' continues the same Saint, ' who in 
order that we might not fly on account of the sentence 
that might be pronounced against us, has given us Hia 
own Mother and the patroness of graces to be our 


Father Bazzi,*^ of the Oamaldolese Order, relates 
that a young man of the name of John, on the death 
of his father, was sent by his mother to the court of m 
prince. His mother, who had a tender devotion to 
wards Mary, before bidding him farewell, made him 
promise that he would every day say the ' Hail Mary,' 

o Salazar. in Prov. viU. 18. 

^ Potes qaidem omnes salyare, at Dei altissimi Mater, pxsBcilnif mateniA 
Cnotoritate pollentibus.— Jfevi. Oraec. 20 Jan. ad MaL 

** O certe Dei nostri mira benignitas, qui sals reis te dtominaffl tribait» 
HdTOcatam, at a Filio tuo inter nos et ipsum Judioem constituta, quod toI- 
OMTis pro nobis yaleas impetrare I— in Salv. Beg. 

*^ O icirabilif erga nos miserioordia Dei noetri, qni, ne alias fbgeremni 
pro sententia, non solum dig^atus est oommunicare se nobis in Judioem, at 
6SMt Deus et homo Jesus Gbristus, a quo debet sententia promulgari, sed 
▼olait ipse sua viscera misericordi» matrem fOfun dominam gratis, nosMMi 
iMtitaere advocatam.— /n Sain, fiig. 

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ftdding at the end of it these words : ' 0, most Blessed 
Vkeiiiy help me at the hour of my death/ Aftei 
kaving been at court a short tune, he became so di** 
■olate that his master was obliged to dismiss him. No \ 
longer knowing how to obtain a living, in despair he \ 
became a highway robber and murderer ] but daring ' 
this time even, he never neglected to recommend him- 
toelf to onr Blessed Lady, according to his promise. At 
length he was taken and condemned to death. When 
in prison, and the day before his death, reflecting on 
his own shtfme, on the grief of his mother, and on the 
death he was about to endure, he wept bitterly ; and 
thns ihe devil, sedng him disconsolate and filled with 
melancholy thoughts, appeared to him under the form 
of a handsome youth, and told him that he would deliver 
him from prison and death if only he would obey him. 
The culpiit said he was ready to do all he might ask. 
The youth then told him that he was the devil come to 
aid Mm. In the first place, he required that he should 
deny Jesus Christ and the most holy sacraments. To 
ihTB he consented. He then demanded that he should re- 
nounce the Blessed Virgin Mary and her protection. 
' Ahy that I wOlnever do,^ answeitsd the young man ; and 
raising his heart to her, he repeated his accustomed 
prayer : ' 0, Blessed Virgin, help me at the hour of my 
death.' At these words the devil disappeared. The 
young man was immediately filled with the most bitter 
grief for the crime he had committed in denying Jesus 
Ohrist ; but having recourse to the most Blessed Virgin, 
ahe obtained him true sorrow for all his sins, and he 
eonfssoed them with great sighs and contrition. On 
leaving the gaol to go to the scaffold, he passed on the 
road a statue of Mary, and saluled it with his ordinary 
prayer : ' O, most Blessed Virgin, help me at the hour 
of my death f and the statue returned liis salutation in 
the presence of all, by bowing its head. Moved with 
tenoemess^ he begged leave to kiss the feet of the 
statue. The guard refused, but at length consented| 
oh Account of the acdMuatiooa of the people. Thi 

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voutli stoopei to kiss the feet, when Maxy extended 
j her arm, took him by the hand, and held him so tight 
that it was impossible to remove him. At the sight 
of such a prodigy, all began to cry out, ^'Mercy, pardon, 
forgiveness P and it was granted. The young manio- 
turned to his own country, where he led a most ex- 
emplary life, and was always filled with the tendered 
affection for Mary, who had delivered him £rom both 
temporal and eternal death. 


I will address thee, great Mother of God, in tho 
words of Saint Bernard: * Speak, Lady, for thy Son 
heareth thee and whatever thou askest thou wilt ob- 
tain.'*''^ Speak, speak, then, Mary, our advocate, in 
favour of us poor miserable creatures. Remember that 
it was also for our good that thou didst rec^ve such 
great power and so high a dignity. A God was pleased 
to become thy debtor by taking humanity of thee, in 
order that thou mightest at will dispense the riches of 
divine mercy to sinners. We are thy servants, de- 
voted in a special manner to thee } and I am one of 
these, I trust, in even a higher degree. We glory in 
living under thy protection. Since thou doest good to 
all, even to those who neither know nor honour thee, 
nay more, to those who outrage and blaspheme thee, 
how much more may we not hope from thy benignity, 
which seeks out the wretched in order to relieve them, 
we who honour, love, and confide in thee t We are 
great sinners, but God has enriched thee with oompaa- 
sion and power far exceeding our iniquities. Thou 
canst, and hast, the will to save us ; and the greater if 
our nn worthiness, the greater shall be our hope in order 
to glorify thee the more in heaven, when by thy inter- 
cession, we get there. 0, Mother of mercy, we present 
diee our souls, once cleansed and rendered beautiful in 

* Loqaere, Domlna, qnia aadit Filial taiui! et qiUMoaqa* ptIUrit 

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the blood of Jesns Christ, but, eUss, since that tune, 
defiled by sin. To thee do we present them j do thou 
piirify them. Obtain for us true conversion j obtain 
for us the love of God, perseverance, heaven. "We ask 
thee for much ; but what is it f perhaps thou canst not 
obtain all t It is perhaps too much for the love Qod 
bears thee t Ah, no ! for thou hast only to open thy 
lips and ask thy divine Son ; He will deny thee noth- 
ing. Pray, then, pray, O Mary, for us j pray ; thou 
wilt certamly obtain all : and we shall with the 
certainty obtain the kingdom of heaven. 

Sxcnoir II. Mary is so tender an Adoocafey that A§ 
does not rtfiise to d^end the cause even €fihe most 

So many are the reasons that we have for loving this 
our most loving Queen, that if Mary was praised through- 
out the world ; if in every sermon Mary alone was spoken 
of; if all men gave their lives for Mary; still all would 
be little in comparison with the homage and gratitude 
that we owe her in return for the tender love she bears 
to men, and even to the most miserable sinners who 
preserve the slightest spark of devotion for her. Blessed 
Raymond Jordano, who, out of humility, called himself 
the Idiot, used to say, ' that Mary knows not how to 
do otherwise than love those who love her ; and that 
even she does not disdain to serve those who serve her | 
and in favour of such a one, should he be a sinner^ she 
uses all her power in order to obtain his forgivenesi 
from her Blessed Son.'^ And he adds, ' that ner be- 
nignity and mercy are so great, that no one, however 
enormous his sins may be, should fear to cast himself 
at her feet ; for she never can reject any one who has 

> Maria . . . diligit dlUgentM te, Imo gibi servientibns Mxrit IpM 
benedioto Filio mo irato potentissime raoonoiliat lerTai et attalatm 

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recourse to herP ' Maiy, as our most loving advocfld ««, 
herself offers the prayers of her servants to God, and 
especially those who are placed in her hands ; for as 
the Son intercedes for us with the Father, so does rfhe 
intercede with the Son, and does not cease to make 
interest with both for the great affair of our saivrfdoiij 
and to obtain for us the graces we ask/^ With good 
reason, then, does Denis, the Carthusian, call the 
Blessed Virgin * the singular refuge of the lost, the 
hope of the most abandoned, and the advocate of all 
sinners who have recourse to her.'* 

But should there, by chance, be a sinner who, 
though not doubting her power, might doubt the com- 
passion of Mary, fearing perhaps that she might be un- 
iHHing to help him on account of the greatness of his 
sins, let him take courage from the words of Saint Bona- 
venture. ' The great, the special privilege of Mary is, 
that she is all-powerful wrth her Son.'^ ' But,' adds 
the Saint, ' to what purpose would Mary have such 
great power if she cared not for us f ® * No,' he con- 
cludes, * let us not doubt, but oe certain, and let ns 
always thank our Lord and His divine Mother for it, 
that in proportion as her power with God exceeds that 
of all the Saints, so is she in t\)e same proportion our 
most loving advocate, and the one who is the most 
solicitous for our welfare.'*' * And who, Mother of 
Mercy,' exclaims Saint Germanus, in the joy of his 
heart, 'who, after thy Jesus, is as tenderly solicitous 

* Tanta ... est ejns benignitas, qaod nulli formidandam eit ad earn 
Moedere ; tantaque miserioordia, at nemo ab ea repellitur. — De C^mUmpL 

* Ipea preces et saorifioia gerrorum suoram, et mazime qtue sibi ezhi- 
bentar, reprsesentat in conspectu divinse majestatis ; quia est ad vooata nostra 
upad Filiam, stoat Filias apud Patrem ; imo apod Patrem et Filiam i«oonrat 
iM^otia et petitiones nostras. — lb. 

* Singulare refugium perditorum, spes miseroram, advocata omnium 
iniqaoram ad eam confdgrientium. — De Laud. V. 1. 2. a. 23. 

* Grande pilvilegium est, quod ipsa pras omnibus Sanctis apad Denm 
potentissima est. — Sptc. B. M. V. lecU vi. 

* Sed quid tanta MaritB potentia prodesset nobis, si ipsa nihil coraret d« 
nobis f— ib. 

' Carissimi, sciamus indabitanter, et pro hoc gfratias agamos inoessaiitet« 
quia sicut ipsa apud Deum omnibus Sanctis est potior, ita quoqae pro i 
■pud Deam on jiibus Sanctis est sollioitior. — lb. 

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fbr our welfare as tboa art f* ' Who defendi ns in the 
temptations with which we are afflicted as thou de- 
fendest us t Who, like thee, undertakes to protect sin- 
ners, fighting as it were in their behalf f* * Therefore,' 
he adds, Hhy pafcronage, O Mary, is more powerful and 
loving than anything of which we can ever form an 
idea.'^ ' For,' says the Blessed Raymond Jordano, 
'whilst all the other Saints can do more for their own 
clients than for others, the divine Mother, as Queen of 
all, is the advocate of all, and has a care for the salva- 
tion of all/" 

Mary takes care of all, even of sinners; indeed she 
glories in being called in a special manner their advo- 
cate, as she herself declared to the venerable sister 
Mary Villani, saying : 'After the title of Mother of 
Grod, I rejoice most in that of advocate of sinners.' 
Blessed Amadous says, ' that our Queen is constantly 
before the Divine Majesty, interceding for us with her 
most powerful prayers/^ And as in Heaven ' she well 
knows our miseries and wants, she. cannot do otherwise 
than compassionate us ; and thus, with the affection of 
a mother, moved to tenderness towards us, pitying and 
benign, she is always endeavouring to help and save 
us.'^ And therefore does Richard of Saint Lawrence 
encourage each one, however bad he may be, to have 
recourse with confidence to this sweet advocate, being 
assured that he will always find her ready to help him j^ 

, * Qui!, post taam Filinm, tta generii hamanl oaram gerit dmit ta t— HH 
JSotta B. V.M. 

* Qais Ha nos defendit in nostril affliotiooibos . . . f Qois In 8app1i<!» 
Monibnt adeo pa|rDat pro peooatoribasf— '26. 

1^ Propterea et patrooininm taodn m%)tu est, qoam Qt Intelligfentla 9MI 
prehendi possit — lb. 

'1 CsBteri . . . sancti, jure quodam patrocinli pro sibi specialitercommiMia, 
■^ofl peasant prodesse m onria Altissimi quam pro alienis. Beatissima vero 
Virffo, sicat est omnium regina, sio et omnium patrona et advooata, et oora 
•St uU de omnibus. — De CompUmpl.B. V. in Prol. 

^ Adstat Beatissima singulari merito prasoipna vnltui Conditoris, 

preoe potentissima, semper iDterpellans pro nobis. — De Laud. Virg. hom^riii. 

u Cuncta nostra videt dTscrimina, nostrique Clemens et dolois < 
Baterno affectu miseretur. — lb. 

^ laTeniet wemfvt paratam amdliari.— Z>s Zatici. il. Jf 1. 9^ p, L 

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^for/ says the Abbot Godfrey, 'Mary is alwa3r8 ready 
(o pray for all.'^^ 

* O, with what efficacy and love/ says Saint Ber- 
nard, ' does this good Advocate interest herself in the 
affiEiir of our salvation !'^® Saint Bona venture, consider- 
ing the affection and zeal with which Mary intercede! 
for us with the Divine Majesty, in order that our Lord 
may pardon us our sins, help us with His grace, free ua 
from dangers, and relieve us in our wants, says, address- 
ing the Blessed Virgin, in the words of an ancient 
wiiter : ' We know that we have as it were but one 
solicitous in Heaven for us, and thou art this one, so 
greatly does thy solicitude for us exceed that of all the 
Saints.'" That is, '0 Lady, it is true that all the Saints 
desire our salvation, and pray for us ; but the love, the 
tenderness, that thou showest us in Heaven, in obtain- 
ing for us by thy prayers so many mercies from God, 
obliges us to acknowledge that in Heaven we have but 
one advocate, and that is thyself; and that thou alone 
art truly loving and solicitous for our welfare/ Who 
can ever comprehend the solicitude with which Mary 
constantly stands before God in our behalf ! ' She is 
never weary of defending us,'" says Saint Germanus ; 
and the remark is beautiful, meaning that so great is 
the compassion excited in Mary by our misery, and 
such is the love that she bears us, that she prays con- 
stantly, and relaxes not her efforts in our behaK; that 
by her prayers she may effectually defend us from evil, 
and obtain for us sufficient graces. ' She has never 
done enough.' 

Truly unfortunate should we poor sinners be, had 

V Et ipsa qtddem pro aniyerao mnndo paratissima esset ad precandmn, 
totosqae mandas salvaretor, A preoibiu ejos se fao«ret 6ignum.—Serm. 8, 

^* Advocatam prsmisit pereffrlnatio nostra, qxm tanqnam Judicls mat«t 
et mater misericordise, supplioiter et elBoaciter salatis Lostm negotia per- 
tractabit.— iSerm. 1 de Assump. 

I' Te solam, O Maria, pro sancta Eoolesia sollioitam pm omnibus sanelil 
■oimoB, qnae.inr.potras indaoias transgressoribus, at rennntlexit soia «roiilN|0. 
4^»ee. B. M. *F. lect yL 

u Hob tat latietM defboftonifl ^ok— 2te Ztma B,r,M 

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ir6 not tills great Advocate^ who is so powerfal and 
oompassionate, and at the same time^ ' so pradent and 
wise, that the Judge, her Son,' says Richard of Saint 
Lawrence, * cannot condemn the guilty who are de- 
fended by her/^ And therefore^ Saint John Geometra 
salutes her, saying, ' Hail, court, for putting an end 
to litigation.'^ For all causes defended by tnis most 
wise Advocate are gained. For this reason is Mary 
called, by Saint Bonaventure, *the wise Abigail.'^* 
This is the woman we read of in the second Book of 
Kings, who knew so well how, by her beautiful sup- 
plications, to appease King David when he was in- 
dignant against Nabal } and indeed so liar as to induce 
him to bless her, in gratitude for having prevented 
him, by her sweet manners, from avenging himself on 
Nabal with his own hands.^ This is exactly what 
Mary constantly does in heaven, in favour of innumer- 
able sinners : she knows so well how, by her tender 
and unctuous prayers, to appease the Divine justice, that 
God Himself blesses her for it, and, as it were, thanks 
her for having withheld Him from abandoning and 
chastising them as they deserved. ' On this account 
it was,' says Saint Bernard, * that the Eternal Father, 
* wishing to show all the mercy possible, besides giving 
us Jesus Christ, our principal Advocate with Him, was 
pleased also to give us Mary, as our Advocate with 
Jesus Christ.' * There is no doubt,' the Saint adds, 
^ that Jesus Christ is the only mediator of justice be- 
tween men and God ; that, in virtue of His own merits 
and promises, He will and can obtain us pardon and 
the Divine favours ; but because men acknowledge and 
fear the Divine Majesty, ithioh is in Him as God, for 
this reason it was necessary to assign us another Advo- 

* Tarn pradeni etiam et discorata «ft advooata Maria, qaod non potoil 
Wttku viDcuoare in eo8 pro qaibos ipsa allegat— i>e LawL V, lib. ii. o^ L 

* Salye Jos dlrlmeiu lites, et flamina Iin£u». 

Oiatoram ubdeni, oris et art« opoa. — Mymn. 4 tn Virg. Dtip, 

* Abigail saFioQS.— Xaiw. B, M. n. 13. 

"EtbenedictatQ, qu» probiboistl m« kodi» M . . . iddMaNr BM MMi 
WMi. 1 Mtg^ ur. 33. _ 

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19fO 0; OlUGtOtrS JJ>tQOAtM. 

oate, to whom we might have recouise with lesd te$i 
and more oonfidence, and this Advocate is Mary, than, 
whom we cannot find one more powerful with His 
Divine Majesty, or one more merciful towards our- 
selves/ The Saint says, ' Christ is a faithful and 
powerful Mediator between God and men, but in 
TTim men fear the majesty of God. A mediator, then, 
was needed with the Mediator Himself ; nor could a 
more fitting one be found than Mary.'^ ' But,' con- 
tinues the same Saint, ' should any one fear to go to 
the feet of this most sweet Advocate, who has nothing 
in her of severity, nothing terrible, but who is all cour- 
teous, amiable, and benign, he would indeed be offer- 
ng an insult to the tender compassion of Mary.'^ And 
fie adds, ' Bead, and read again, as often as you pleaae, 
all that is said of her in the Gospels, and if you can 
find any the least trait-of severity recorded of her, then 
fear to approach her. ' But no, this you can never find j 
and therefore go to her with a joyful hearty and she 
will save you by her intercession,'^ 

How beautiful is the exclamation put in the mouth 
01 a sinner who has recourse to Mary, by William of 
Paris 1 * most glorious Mother o£ God, I, in the 
miserable state to which I am reduced by my sins, 
have recourse to thee, full of confidence, and if thou 
rejectest me, I remind thee that thou art in a way 
bound to help me, since the whole Church of the 
fiaithful calls thee and proclaims thee the Mother of 
Mercy .'^ *Thou, O Mary, art that one who, fix)in 
being so dear to God, art always listened to ^vom- 

" Fidelif plane et potens mediator Dei et hominom, homo Chriitos Jesai^ 

■•d divinam in eo reverentar homines m^Jeetatem Opos est enim m«di»- 

lore ad mediatorem istom, nee alter nobis atilior qaam Maria.— iSerm. im 
Sion. MAgn, 

** Qnid ad Mariam aooedere trepidet homaoa fragilitas f mhll aoitenm 
In ea, nihil terribile ; tota snayis wt—Ib. 

* Reyolye diligentias evangelioae historis seriem aniTerMun, et d quid 
forte aostemm increpatoriam, si quid dunim si quod denique signum Tel 
tennis indirnationis ocoorrerit in Maria, de oatero suspeotam nabes et aoo*- 
iere Tereans. — 2b. 

^ Adibo te, imo etiam oonyeniaro gloriosisdma Del genltriz, qiuuB ms* 
•em miserioordi» et reginam pietatb TOtati imo dammt oanii 
- — i.«.X>i jikti. JH9. on^ ZTiii. 

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ably. Thy great oompassion was never wantuag lo 
any one ; thy most sweet affability ne>rer despi^d any 
sinner that recommended himself to thee, however great 
his sins.'^ * And what ! Perhaps falsely, and for no- 
thmg, the whole Church calls thee its Advocate, and 
the refuge of sinners.'^ 'Never, my Mother, lei 
my sins prevent thee from fulfilHng the great office 
of charity which is thine, and by which thou art, at 
the same time, our Advocate and a mediatress of peace 
between men and God, and who art, after thy Son. 
our only hope, and the^ secure refuge of the miserable.'** 
' All that thou possessest of grace and glory, and the 
dignity even of Mother of God, so to speak, thou owest 
to sinners, for it was on their account that the Divine 
Word made thee His Mother.'** * Far be it from this 
Divine Mother, who brought the source itself of tender 
oompassion into the world, to think that she should 
ever deny her mercy to any sinner who has recourse 
to her,'^^ * Since, then, Mary, thy office is to be the 
peace-maker between God and men, let thy tender com- 
passion, which far exceeds all my sins, move thee to 
succour meJ^ 

' Be comforted then, you who fear,' will I say with 
St. Thomas of Villanova : * breathe freely and take cour- 
age, wretched sinners ; this great Virgin, who is the 
Mother of your God and Judge, is also the Advocate <^ 
the whole human race ; fit for this office, for she can do 
what she wills with God ; most wise, for she knows all 

^ T% inqoam, et^ai mtiosittt nnnqnam repnlaam patitar; e^Jos mia*- 
lioodia nolU xmqaam d«rait ; oojns benigniosima hnmilitas noUnm anqoMB 
d«preoantem quantamoomqae peocaturetn despexit. — Dt BheL JHv, cap. 

" An ftdso 9\ inaniter vooat te omnia Eoole^ sanotoram adyooatam fiaai 
ft mlMroram reftigium T — lb. 

* AMt, at (peooata mea> postint snapendere te a tarn aalabil offldo pla- 
taUa tiuB. quo, et advocata eg, et mediatrix hominom, poet FiUam tanm apea 
waksa et renigiani tatiasimum miserorum.— /&. 

** Totam nqoidem qnod habea gratise, totnm quod habea gloriae^ et etlaa 
koo ipaom quod ea mater Dei, ai &8 eat dioere, pecoatoribua debea.— iK 

*> Abdt boo a matre Dei, qnae foutem pietatia toti maodo peperit, lit eai< 
fOam miaerorom aoss miaericordiffi tfubventionem unquam deneget— Ai 

** OiDoiam ergo ttium eat mediam te interponere inter ipaam et I 
" . - . ~ . . f . ^jggjnja miaerlBi" 

t peocatia.— ill 

... HoTeat ergo te, glorioaa Dei mater, benigniaaima mlaerfiDiittii ta% 
AMI aoiyor inoogi&biliter eat omniboa Titiia m«ia et peoo - " 

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the means of appealing Him ; uniyersal, lot uke wei« 
comes all, and refuses to defend no one.'^ 

In Some there was a woman known by the name 
of ' Catherine the Fair/ who was leading a most dis- 
orderly life. She once heard Saint Dominic preaching 
on the devotion of the Rosary, had her name enrolled 
in the confraternity, and began to recite it, but without 
changing her life. One evening a yomig man of noble 
mien came to visit her: she received him with courtesy, 
but, whilst they were at supper, she remarked, that as 
he was cutting bread drops of blood fell from his hands, 
and then she saw that there was blood on all the food 
he took. She asked him what was the meaning of this. 
The young man replied, that ' the food of a Christian 
should be tinged by the blood of Jesus Christ, and 
seasoned with the remembrance of His passion.' Aston- 
ished at such an answer, Catherine asked him who he 
was. * Later,' he said, ' I will tell you.' Then going 
into an adjoining room, the appearance of the young 
man changed ; he was crowned with thorns ; his flesh 
all mangled and torn j and he said : ' Deshrest thou to 
know who I am t Dost thou not recognize me t I am 
tby Redeemer. Catherine, when wilt thou cease 
offending Me f See what I have endured for thee. 
Thou hast now tormented Me enough ; change thy life.' 
Catherine burst into sobs and tears, and Jesus, encour- 
aging her, said : ' Love Me now as much as thou hasi 
amended Me ; and know that I have granted thee this 
grace oc account of the Rosary thou hast recited in 
honor of My Mother.' He then disappeared. On the 
next morning Catherine went to confession to Saint 
Dominic, distributed all she had to the pof)r, and ever 

" OoniolaminI poiiUanimM, ntplzate miiexabOM: "^rgo deipara «« 
kaaumi generii adyooate idonea, i^tontiMiina, oniTenalis.— Jk JSc^ ppp 

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' O, toACIOirS ADYOOAtX. 173 

ftfterwardi^ed so holy a life that she attained a very 
high degree of perfection. Oar Blessed Lady appeared 
many times to her^ and our Lord Himself revealed to 
Siunt Dominio that this penitent had become very detti 
to Him.3* 


great Mother of my Lord, I see full well that my 
ingratitude towards Grod and thee, and this too for so 
many years, has merited for me that thou shouldst 
justly abandon me, and no longer have a care of me, 
for an ungrateful soul is no longer worthy of favours. 
But I, Lady, have a high idea of thy great good- 
ness ; I believe it to be far greater than my ingratitude. 
Oontinue, theu, refuge of sinners, and cease not 
to help a miserable sinner who confides in thee. O 
Mother of Mercy, deign to extend a helping hand to a 
poor fallen wretch who asks thee for pity. Mary, 
either defend me thyself, or tell me to whom I can 
have recourse, and who is better able to defend me 
than thou, and where I can find with God a more 
clement and powerful advocate than thou, who art 
His Mother. Thou, in becoming the Mother of our 
Saviour, wast thereby made the fitting instrument to 
save sinners, and wast given me for my salvation. 
Mary, save him who has recourse to thee. I deserve 
not thy love, but it is thine own desire to save sinners 
that makes me hope that thou lovest me. And if thou 
lovest me, how can I be lost t O my own beloved 
Mother, if by thee I save my soul, as I hope to' do, 
I shall no longer be ungrateful, I shall make up for 
my past ingratitude, and for the love thou hast shown 
me, by my everlasting praises, and all the affections 
cf my soul. Happy in . Heaven, where thou reign- 
est, and wilt reign for ever, I shall always sing thy 
mercies, and kiss for eternity those loving hands whicn 
bajve delivered me from hell, as often as I have de- 

** Diotall. torn, il Domen. Qaiofaiif; 

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174 O, GBACIOtrs ADyoCAlJB. * 

Berved it by my sins. Mary, my liberator, my hopiSi 
my Queen, my Advocate, my own sweet Mother, I loyii 
thee J I desire thy glory, and I will love thee for eve? 
Amen^ amen. Thus do I hope. 

Section III. Mary is the Peace-maker between sinner$ 
and Grod. 

The grace of God is the greatest and the most de- 
arable of treasures for every soul. It is called by the 
Holy Ghost an infinite treasure ; for by the means ot 
Divine grace we are raised to the honour of being the 
friends of God. These are the words of the Bo^ of 
Wisdom: "For she is an infinite treasure to men; 
which they that use become the friends of God."^ And 
hence Jesus, our Redeemer and God, did not hesitate 
to call those His friends who were in grace : " You are 
My friends.''* accursed sin, that dissolves this 
friendship! "But your iniquities," says the prophet 
Isaias, " have divided between you and your God.''* 
And putting hatred between the soul and Ged, it is 
changed from a friend into an enemy of its Lord, as 
expressed in the Book of Wisdom : "But to God the 
wicked and his wickedness axe hateful alike."* What, 
then, must a sinner do who has the misfortune to be 
the enemy of God f He must find a mediator who will 
obtain pardon for him, and who will enable him tc 
recover the lost friendship of God. 'Be comforted, O 
unfortunate soul, who hast lost thy God,' says Saint 
B^nard ; Hhy Lord Himself has provided thee with a 
m^iator, and this is His Son Jesus , who can obtain fox 
tfiee all that thou desirest :' ' He has given thee Jesus 

1 Inflnitiu enim tfaeaaoras est hominlbnm qao qui wl ■not, p» tlqlfp 
Iboti sunt amicitiiB Dei.— iSop. viL 14. 

* VoB amiei mei eslis.— Joan, xv, 14. 

* Iniquitates YMtrsB diviseront inter Toe et Denm Teetniv.~liNi. Us. % 

* Odo ■not Deo impiiu et impietae e{nf.- St^, sir. 9, 

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Oy G&AdOtlS ADrOGATX. 17£ 

for a Mediator ; and what is there that such a Son can 
not obtain from the Father V^ 

But, God, exclaims the Saint, and why shoold 
tius merdfnl Saviour, who gave his life to save us, he 
ever thought severe t Why should men believe Him 
terrible who is all lovet distrustful sinners, what 
do you fear t If your fear arises from having offended 
God, know that Jesus has fastened all your sins on the 
cross with His own lacerated hands, and having satis- 
fied divine justice for them by His death. He has 
already effaced them from your souls. Here are the 
words of the Saint : ' They imagine Him rigorous, who 
\a all compassion ; terrible, who is all love. What do 
you fear, O ye of little fedth t With his own hands 
He has fastened your sins to the cross.'* * But if by 
chance,' adds the Saint, ^ thou fearest to have recourse 
to Jesus Christ because the majesty of God in Him 
overawes thee — for though He became man, He did 
not cease to be God — ^and thou desirest another ad- 
vocate with this Divine Mediator, go to Mary, for she 
will intercede for thee with the Son, who will most 
certainly hear her ; and then He will intercede with 
the Father, who can deny nothing to such a Son.'' 
Thence Saint Bernard concludes, ' this Divine Mother, 
my children, is the ladder of sinners, by which they 
reascend to the height of Divine grace : she is my 
greatest confidence, she is the whole ground of my 

The Holy Ghost, in the sacred Canticles, makes the 
most Blessed Virgin use the following words : ''I am a 
wall ; and my breasts are as a tower, since I am become 

* Jenun tibi de4Ut medlatorem. Quid ton apad talem Patrem Filial taOt 
obtlneat 1—Serm. de Aquted. 

* Sevaram imaginatnr qui pios est, terribilem qni ainabilis est. Qa!4 
ttnetis modicffi fidei f peocata aiBxit oraoi suis maniDos. — in Cant. s. 38. 

' Sed forsitan et in ipso majestatem vereare diyinam, quod licet &otai sfl 
homo, manserit tamen Deus Adyocatnm habere vis et ad ipsnmT flfai 

tfariam reourre Ezaadiet ntiqoe matrain Filiui, et ezaodiet FUiui 

Pater.— 5erm. ds J quad. 

* Filloli, bno peeoatonun soala, b»o m«a maxima idoolft est, bat tiii 
Hitk> ap9k me*.— /ft. 

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In his presence as one finding peace f^ that is, I am 
the defender of those who have recourse to me, and 
my mercy towards them is like a tower of refuge, and 
therefore have I been appointed by my Lord the peace- 
maker between sinners and Grod. ' Mary,' says Cardinal 
Hugo, on the above, text, 'is the great peace-maker, 
who finds and obtains the reconciliation of enemiei 
with God, salvation for those who are lost, pardon for 
fiinnors, and mercy for those who are in despair.'^* And 
therefore was she called by the Divine Bridegroom, 
" beautiful as the curtains of Solomon.''" In the tents 
of David, questions of war alone were treated, but in 
those of Solomon, questions of peace only were enter- 
tained; and thus does the Holy Spirit -give us to un- 
derstand that this Mother of Mercy never treats of war ■ 
and vengeance against sinners, biit only of peace and 
forgiveness for them. 

Mary was prefiofured by the dove which returned to 
Noah in the Ark with an olive-branch in its beak,^ as a 
pledge of the peace which God granted to men. And on 
this idea Saint Bonaventure thus addresses our Blessed 
Lady : ' Thou art that most faithful dove ; thou wast a 
sure mediatress between God and the world, lost in a 
spiritual deluge ;'^^ thou, 'by presenting thyself before 
God, hast obtained for a lost world peace and salvation. 
Mary, then, was the heavenly dove which brought to a 
lost world the olive-branch, the sign of mercy, since 
she in the first place gave us Jesus Christ, \^o is the 
source of mercy, and then, by His merits, obtained all 
graces for us." ' And as by Mary,' says Saint Epiphv 
nius, * heavenly pea^e was once for all given to the 

* Ego mtiras ; et ttbera mea s!ont tnrris, ex qao ihota lam coram ee 4{ium1 
IMoem reperiens*— (7an<. Tit!. 10. 

1^ Ipsa res reperit pacem fnlmiois, saltttem perditis, i«:alg^ntiam rein 
■dsericordiam desperatis. — In Cant. cap. riii. 

11 Formosa siont pelles Salomonls. — Cant. L 4. 

» Gen. TiH. 11. 

o Tfi enim es flia fldelfssfma oolnmba Noe, qiui Inter snmmmn Denm el 
■uradom dHavio spiritnali submersam mediatrix fldelissima extitH.— 4'M* 
9. M. F. leot ix. 

>«Kam Ohriftnm BoMf dttoUtt flmtom mlMiiooidia.— P. atphtOL Mmr. 

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world,^ so by her are sinners still recondled to GU)d.' 
Wherefore blessed Albert the Great makes her say : 'I 
am that dove of Noah, which brought the olive-branoli 
of universal peace to the Ohuroh.'^^ 

Again, the rainbow seen by Saint John, which en- 
circled the throne of God, was an express figure of 
Mary: "And there was a rainbow round about the 
throne.''" It is thus explained by Cardinal Vitalis : 
* The rainbow round the throne is Mary, who softens 
the judgment and sentence of God against sinners ;'" 
meaning, that she is always before G^d's tribunal, miti- 
gating the chastisements due to sinners. Saint Bemar- 
dine of Sienna says, ' that it was of this rainbow that 
God spoke when He promised Noah that He would 
place it in the clouds as a sign of peace, that on looking 
at it He might remember the eternal peace which He 
had covenanted to man.' " I will set My bow in the 
clouds, and it shall be the sign of a covenant between 
Me and between the earth .... and I shall see it, and 
shall remember the everlasting covenant."^ ' Mary,' 
Bays the Saint, ' is this bow of eternal peace :'*^ ' for,' as 
God on seeing it remembers the peace promised to the 
earth, so does He, at the prayers of Mary, forgive the 
crimes of sinners, and confirm His peace with them.'^ 

For the same reason Mary is compared to the moon, 
in the sacred Canticles : " Fair as the moon."^ ' For/ 
says Saint Bonaventure, ' as the moon is between the 
heavens and the earth, so does Mary continually place 
herself between Gtod and sinners in order to appease 

^ Per te pax ooelestis donata est—Ebm. in. Laud, B. M, 

1* Ego som colomba Noe,Eoole8i» ramam oliT» et pads deflareiif qiiItW' 
m^\t.^Bxbl. Mar. in Ub. Cant 16. 

1' Et iris erat ia cirouitu sedis.— ^Xpoc iv. 3. 

1* Iris in cirouita sedis est Maria qnsB mftigat Dei Jndioiam et secteii 

liam contra peocatores. — Spec. S. Script, de B. V. M. 

^* Aremn meum ponam in nubibos, et erit signnm fcrderis inter me «t 

falter terram Videbo illam. et reoordaboir foederis sempiterai. — Qtn, ix. 


» Ipsa est areas foederis sempitemi.— /Sf«rm. 1 di Nom. M, cap. 3. 

" Fructus irldis est recordatio divini foederis, ne divino Jadicio disper- 
datar terra, et omnis anima vivens !n ea : et per Virginem gloriosam offeaM 
■ds remittitur, pax restitnitor, foedos strlngitar.—^i^Msit. in cap, It. . ' ~ 

» Polohniiit latuk^ONit tL 81 

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our Lord hi tLeir regard, and to enlighten them to n- 
torn to Him.'» 

The chief office given to Mary, on being placed in 
this world, was to raise up souls that had fallen from 
divine grace, and to reconcile them with God. " Feed 
thy goats,"^ was our Lord's command to her in creating 
her. It is well known that sinners are understood by 
goats, and that as at the last judgment, the just, under 
the figure of sheep, will be on the right hand, so will 
the goats be on the left. ' These ffoats,' says the Abbot 
William, * are intrusted to thee, great Mother, that 
thou mayest change them into sheep ; and those who 
by their sins deserve to be driven to the left, will by 
thy intercession be placed on the right.'^ And there- 
fore our Lord revealed to Saint Catharine of Sienna,* 
* that He had created this His beloved Daughter to be 
as a most sweet bait by which to catch men, and espe- 
cially Muners, and draw them to God.'*^ But on this 
subject we must not pass over the beautiful reflection 
of William the Angelical on the above text of the sacred 
Canticles, in which he says, ' that God recommended 
HER OWN goats to Mary f * for,' adds this author, * the 
Blessed Virgin does not save all sinners, but those only 
who serve and honor her. So much so indeed, that 
those who live in sin, and neither honour her with any 
particular act of homage, nor recommend themselves to 
her in order to extricate themselves from sin, they cer- 
tainly are not Marjr's goats, but at the last judgment 
will, for their eternal misery, be driven to the left 
hand with the damned.'*® 

>* Siont lima eit media inter corpora ooileftia et terrena et qaod ab QBt 
aM.pitad ^sferiora refuodit ; sio et Virg^o regia ioter not et Deom ettiMdi^ 
•tjpratiam ipsa nobia retan^LSpann, Pciyanth. litt m. t 6. 

>* Pasoe hsdos tuos — Cant. i. 7. 

* Pasoe hades tnos, quos coDTertis in oves, et qni a finiBtrii in Jadldo 
•rant ooUooandi. tua interoesiione oollooentur a deztriti t 

* Cunc. An. Pid. cap. L 

^ HflBO enim est a me electa, parata, et poeita, tanqnam etoa dolciMima 
ftd oapiendos homines, et pnecipue animas peccatoram. — lb. 

^ Suot vocat, qnia non omnes hasdi vooantor Maria, sed qui Mariam 
oolont ao Tenerantur, licet soeleribos contaminatL Qui vero peccatis irretiti 
sant, nee B. Virginem speciali obseqoio proseqanntor, neo preces Aiodont in 
•Joi coltom, ut aliqoando resipiscant, liadi pralteta lOBt, son Maria^ Mi 
td Aiiftiwi Jndioif liitAndi. t 

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A certain nobleman, despairing of his salvation, on 
MDonnt of hifl many crimes, was encouraged by a monk 
to have reconrse to the most Blessed Virgin, and, for 
this purpose, to visit a devout statue of Mary in a par- 
Hoolar church. He went there, and, on seeing the 
linage, he felt as if she invited him to cast himself at 
her feet and to have confidence. He hastened to pros* 
trate and kiss her feet, when Mary extended her band, 
gave it him to kiss, and on it he saw written these 
words : I wiU deliver thee from those who oppress thee; 
as though she had said. My son, despair not, for I will 
deliver thee from the sins and sorrows that weigh so 
heavily on thee. On reading these sweet words, the 
poor sinner was filled with such sorrow for his sinsL 
and, at the same time, with so ardent a love for Qod 
and His tender Mother, that he instantly expired at 
the feet of Mary. 0, how many obstinate sinners does 
not this loadstone of hearts draw each day to God 1 
For thus^did she call herself one day, saying to Saint 
Bridget, ' As the loadstone attracts iron, so do I at- 
tract hearts.'^ Yea, even the most hardened hearts, 
to reconcile them with Gt)d. We must not suppose 
that such prodigies are extraordinary events ; they are 
every-day occurrences. For my own part, I could re- 
late many cases of the kind that have occurred in our 
missions, where certain sinners, with hearts harder than 
iron, continued so through all the other .sermons, but 
no sooner did they hear the one on the mercies of 
Mary, than they were filled with compunction and re- 
turned to God. Saint Gregory*^ says, that the unicorn 
is so fierce a beast, that no hunter can take it ; at the 
voice only of a virgin crying out, will this beast ap- 

E roach, and without resistance allow itself to be bound 
y her. 0, how many sinners, more sav^e than the 
imd beasts themselves, and who fly from God, at the 
voice of this great Virgin Mary approach and allow 
themselves to be sweetly bound to God by her I 

** Stont mafDM sttrehl libi funoL sic ego ftttmho Dm dam i 
mm, in». iii oap. 32. 

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St. John Chiysostom says, ^ that another purpoM 
for which the Blessed Virgin Mary was made the 
Mother of God was, that she might obtain salvation 
*br many who, on acconnt of their wicked lives, conld 
not be saved according to the rigour of divine jastioe. 
but might be so with the help of her sweet mercy and 
powerful intercession.'^^ This is confirmed by Saint 
Anselm, who says, ' that Mary was raised to the dig- 
nity of Mother of God rather for sinners than for the 
just, since Jesus Christ declares that He came to call 
not the just, but sinners.'® For this reason, the holy 
Church sings, ' Thou dost not abhor sinners, without 
whom thou wouldst never have been worthy of such a 
Son.'^ For the same reason William of Paiis, invo- 
king her, sayB: ^0 Mary, thou art obliged to help 
sinners for all the gifts, the graces, and high honours 
which are comprised in the dignity of Mother of Qod 
that thou hast received ; thou owest all, so to say, to 
sinners J for on their account thou 'wast made worthy 
to have a God for thy Son.'^ ' If thenj Mary,' con- 
cludes Saint Anselm, ' was made Mother of God on 
accoimt of sinners, how can I, however great my sins 
may be, despau: of pardon f^ 

The holy Church tells us, in the pmyer said in the 
mass of the vigil of the Assumption, Uhat the Divine 
Mother was taken from this world that she might inter- 
pose for us with God, with certain confidence of obtain- 
ing all.'^ Hence Saint Justin calls Mary an arbitra. 

'*> Ideo mater Dei pneelecta es ab SBterno, at quosjostitia Ffliiaalyan dmi 
potest, to per tuam salyares pietatem. — Horn, de Prmt, B. V, t 

** Soio illam magU propter peooatores, quam propter jnstos, ette faotui 
I>ei matrem. Dioit enim ipse bonus Filius ejos, se non veniise yooaro Jo** 
toe, sed peccatores. — De Bxc. B. Virg. cap. i 

** Peccatores non abhorres, sine qaibos nunqaam ftires tanto digna Fffia 

M Totam . . .quod babes ffratis, totam qood habes gloria, et etiam boo 
ipsum, qaod es mater Dei, d fas est dicere. p«>coatoribus debas ; omnia enia 
baeo propter peccatores tibi collata sunt. — De Rhet. Div, c. zrili. 

>s Si . . . ipsa propter peooatores, scilice^. propter me, meiqne slmUei^ 
' %usta est Dei mater, quomodo immanitas pe scatorom meorom oogere f oImII 
desperure veniam eorum f — De Exc F. c L 

« Qoam idoiroo de boo taoiilo tnmstoUftl, nt pro peoeatit aoildiapai It 
Idnrtiliter interoed»l 

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triz :'' ^The eternal Word uses Mary/ Le says, 'as an 
arbitratrix.' An arbitrator is one into whose hands 
contending parties confide their whole case ; and so the 
Saint meant to say, that as Jesus is the mediator with 
the Eternal Father, so also is Mary our mediatress witk 
Jesus 'j and that He puts all the reasons that He has 
for pronouncing sentence against us into her hands. 

Saint Andrew of Crete calls Mary 'a pledge, a se- 
curity for our reconciliation with God.'^ That is, that 
Ood goes about seeking for reconciliation with sinners 
by pardoning them ,* and in order that they may not 
doubt of their forgiveness. He has given them Mary as 
a pledge of it, and therefore he exclaims, 'Hail, O peace 
of Grod with men!'^ Wherefore Saint Bonaventure 
encourages a sinner, saying : ' If thou fearest that on 
account of thy faults God in his anger will be avenged, 
what hast thou to do t Go, have recourse to Mary, 
who is the hope of sinners ; and, if thou fearest that 
she may refuse to take thy part, know that she cannot 
do so, for God Himself has imposed on her the duty 
of succouring the miserable.'*® The Abbot Adam also 
says, 'Need that sinner fear being lost to whom the 
Mother of the Judge offers herself to be Mother and 
advocate f*^ 'And thou, Mary,' he adds, 'who art 
the Mother of mercy, wilt thou disdain to intercede 
with thy S4)n, who is the Judge, for another son, wlio 
is a sinner t Wilt thou refuse to interpose in fiayour of 
a redeemed soul, with the Kedeemer who died on a cross 
to save sinners V^ No, no, thou wilt not reject him, 
but with all affection thou wilt pray for all who haTe 

* Ya-bnm nsnin est Ylrg^e seqneetra. — E:q)ot. Fid, de 2W«. 

* Per earn noUs obetriota lant ealutis pifnora.— /« B. V. M, Dmrnt^ 
Serm. UI. 

* Ave riB diyina onm hominibcu reoondliatio. — In AnnuiU. 8. M. Serm. 
^ Si contra t^ etiam, propter tuas nequitiai, ipsum vidwie indigaatoa 

■d spem pecoatonim oonnigias, matrem suam . . . ab ea quod yolaerit im- 
petrabiB . . . sibi pro miseru eatisfooere ex officio commissam est. — Stim, 
Jm. p. iii. cap. zii. 

^ Timere ne debet nt pereal, col Maila se matrem exhibel et adTOWrtiWi 
^MarM. a. 1. 

^ Tq mieericordis mater, hod iNMrabis pro fiUo Mam, pco ndranio W9' 

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reoonrse to thee, well knowing that ^that Lord who hai 
appointed thy Son a mediator of peace between God 
and man, has also made thee mediatress between the 
Jndge and the culprit.'^ 'Then, sinner,' says Saint 
Bernard, 'whoever thon mayest be, imbedded in crimo^ 
grown old in sin, despair not ; thank thy Lord, who, 
niat He might show thee mercy, has not only givea 
thee His Son for thy advocate, but, to enqpurage thee 
to greater confidence, has provided thee with a medi- 
atress who by her prayers obtains whatever she wills.** 
Go then; have recourse to Mary, and thou wilt be saved.' 


Alan de la Eoche*^ and Boniface** relate, that in 
riorence there was a young woman of the name of 
Benedicta, who was leading a most wicked and scan- 
dalous life. Fortunately for her, as it tamed out, 
Saint Dominic went to preach in that city, and she, 
out of mere curiosity, went one day to hear him. God, 
during that sermon, touched her heart, so much so that 
she went and, weeping bitterly, confessed to the Saint. 
Saint Dominic thereupon absolved her, and desired her 
to say the Bosary for her penance. From evil habits, 
the unfortunate creature again fell into her former mode 
of life. The Saint heard of it, sought her out, and 
again induced her to confess. God, in order to make 
her persevere, one day showed her hell, and pointed 
out some who were there on iier account. He then 
opened a book, and in it made her read the frightful 
catalogue of her sins. The sinner was horrified at 
such a sight, and full of confidence, begged that Mary 
would assist her ; and she understood that this good 
Mother had already obtained from God time for her 
to weep over so many crimes. After the vision, Bene- 

* Rogablfl plane, quia qni filinxn tanm inter Demn et bomlnem pondt 
" ' te quoqne inter ream et Jadioem po8i:dt xnediatricem. — lb. 

^ Age gnUaB ei, qui talem tiU mediatrioem benigniaiima miteratfof^ 
■NTidit— iSerm. in 8xg. Mag, 

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dicta led a good life ; bnt always seeing before het 
eyes that terrible catalogue, she one day began to im- 
plore her comfortress in the following terms : ' My 
Mother/ said she, ' it is true that for ray crimes I ought 
now to be in the lowest abyss of hell ; but since thou, 
by obtaining me time to repent, hast delivered me from 
it, I ask thee this one favour more, most compas- 
Biouate Lady, that my sins may be cancelled from the 
book, and I will never cease all the same to weep for 
them.' At this prayer Mary appeared to her, and told 
her that, to obtain what she desired, she must always 
remember her sins and the mercy that God had shown 
her, and besides, that she should often recall to her 
mind the sufferings which her Divine Son had en- 
dured for her love, and consider how many were lost 
for less sins than she had committed ; and, at the same 
time, revealed to her that on that day a child only 
eight years of age would go to hell for one mortal 
sin. Benedicta obeyed our Blessed Lady faithfully; 
and behold one day Jesus Christ appeared to her, and 
showing her the book, said, ' See, the book is blank, — 
thy sins are cancelled; now write acts of love and 
virtue in their stead." Doing this, Benedicta led a 
holy life) and died the death of a saint. 


O my most sweet Lady, since thy office is, as 
William of Paris says, that of a mediatress between 
God and sinners,**^ I will address thee in the words of 
Saint Thomas of Villanova : 'Fulfil thy office in my 
behalf, tender Advocate ; do thy work.^ Say not 
that my cause is too difficult to gain ; for I know, and 
all tell me so, that every cause, no matter how despe- 
rate, if undertaken by thee, is never, and never will be, 
lost. And will mine be lost t Ah no, this I cannot 

^ Offloiam tnnm est, mediam te Interponera Inter Deom et bominet*— i>f 
MheL Div. e. zviU. 
^ Eja enro adroeata iKMtm . . . offidaB tuun Inplak imm «paa nmm, 
HNttLB. F. oonolo iU. 

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fear. The only thing that I miglit fear is, that, 611 
seeing the multitude of my sins, thou mightest not 
undertake my defence. But, on seeing thy immense 
mercy, and the very great desire of thy most sweet 
heart to help the most abandoned sinners, even this I 
cannot fear. And who was over lost that had recourse 
to thee T Therefore I invoke thy aid, my great Ad- 
vocate, my refuge, my hope, ray mother Mary. To thy 
hands do I intrust the cause of ray eternal salvation. 
To thee do I commit my soul ; it was lost, but thou 
hast to save it. I will always thank our Lord for 
having given me this great confidence in thee ; and 
which, notwithstanding my unworthiness, I feel is an 
assurance of salvation. I have but one fear to afflict 
me, beloved Queen, and that is, that I may one day, 
by my own negligence, lose this confidence in thee. 
And therefore I implore thee, O Mary, by the love 
thou bearest to Jesus, thyself to preserve and increase 
in me more and more this sweet confidence in thy in- 
tercession, by which I hope most certainly to recover 
the Divine friendship, that I have hitherto so madiy 
despised and lost ; and having recovered it, I hope, 
through thee, to preserve it ; and preserving it by the 
same means, I hope at length to thank thee for it in 
heaven, and th<)re to Fdng God's niercies and thine for 
%Q eternity. Amer ^Hub is my hope; thus wuBj k 
toy thus it wiU to. 

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Mary is dU eyes to pity and succour us in ouf 

Sahh? EnPHANius calls the Divine Mothei inanj- 
eyed,^ indicating thereby her vigilance in aasioting na 
poor creatores in tliis world. A possessed peison was 
once being exorcised, and was questioned by the exor- 
cist as to what Mary did. The devil replied, 'She 
descends and ascends.' And he meant, that tins be- 
nign Lady is constantly descending from Heaven to 
bring graces to men, and re-ascending to obtain the 
Divine favour on onr prayers. With reason, then, 
used Saint Andrew Avellino to call the Blessed Virgin 
the ' Heavenly Commissioner,' for she is continually 
carrying messages of mercy, and obtaining graces for 
all, for just and sinners. 'God fixes His eyes on the 
just,' says the royal prophet. "The eyes of the Lord 
are on the just."^ 'But the eyes of the Lady,' says 
Richard of Saiut Lawrence, 'are on the just and on 
Binners.'^ 'For,' he adds, 'the eyes of Mary are the eyes 
of a mother ; and a mother not only watches her cluld 
to prevent its falling, but when it has fallen, she picks 
It up.'* 

Jesus Himself revealed this to Saint Bridget, for one 
day He allowed her to hear Hun thus addressing His 
holy Mother : ' My Mother, ask of Me what thou wilt'* 

> Mnltoonla.— £Rm. in Laud, 8. M, 

' Ooali Domini super Justos. — Pt, xxxiii 18. 

* Oenli Dominn super peocatcHres --IH Laud, V, Ub. t. <Mip. % 

* Oouli Domini super justoe, siooi oooli matzis ad paerom n« «adaA; tl gl 
•Miderit, at earn relevet— ib. 

* P«t« sfgo quod Tit.— Lit). Ti. eai^JO, 

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And tbos is ber Son constantly addressing Marj in 
Heaven,, taking pleasure in gratifying His beloved 
Mother in all that she asks. But what does Mary 
ask T Saint Bridget heard her reply : ' I ask mercy for 
sinners.'® As if she had said, ' My Son, Thou hast made 
me the Mother of Mercy, the refoge of sinners, the ad- 
vocate of the miserable ; and now thou tellest mo to 
ask what I desire } what can I ask except mercy for 
them V 'I ask mercy for the miserable.' * And so, O 
Mary, thou art so full of mercy,' says Saint Bonaven- 
tare, with deep feeling, 'so attentive in relieving the 
wretched, that it seems that thou hast no other desure, 
no other anxiety.'^ And as amongst the miserable, 
sinners are the most miserable of all. Venerable Bede 
declares, 'that Mary is always praying to her Son for 

'Even whilst living in this world,' says Saint Je- 
rome, 'the heart of Mary was so filled with tenderness 
and compassion for men, that no one ever suffered so 
much for his own pains as Mary suffered for the pains 
of others.'^ This compassion for others in affliction she 
well showed at the marriage-feast of Cana, spoken of in 
the preceding chapters, when the wine failing, without 
being asked, remarks Saint Bernardino of Sienna, she 
charged herself with the office of a tender comfortress :^* 
and moved to compassion at the sight of the embarrass- 
ment of the bride and bridegroom, she interposed with 
her Son, and obtained the miraculous change of water 
into wine. 

'But perhaps,' says Saint Peter Damian, addresMUg 
Mary, 'now that thou art raised to the high dignity ol 
Queen of Heaven, thou forgettest us poor creatures V 

* Miserioordiam et auxilium peto miserls.— 220O. lib. L cap. 50. 

' Undiqne sollioita de miseris, andiqae mUerioordia yallaria, loltini mii^ 
IMl ta Tiderii appetere. — Super Salve Reg. 

* Stat Maria in conspecta filii sai, non cessani pro peocatoribaf ezorBra.<^ 
Jh cap. i. Luc. f 

* Nallnm in hao yita adeo pnniB torseront propria, rioat Mariam aUena.— 
JMH. ad Eust. t 

10 OiBoiaia pi» aoziUatrioif aMiimait son logata.— P»w FuL F. JK ■. 9L i^ 

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* Ahy fax be snob a tbougbt from our minds/ be adds ; 
^for it would little become tbe great con^assion tbat 
reigns in tbe beart of Mary ever to forget sucb miseiy 
as ours.'^^ Tbe proverb, tbat ' bonours cbange our man- 
ners/ does not apply to Mary. Witb worldlings it is 
otberwise } for tbey, wben once raised to a bigb dignitji 
become proud, and forget tbeir former poor friends ; but 
It is not so witb Mary, wbo rejoices in ber own e:(alt»- 
tion, because sbe is tbus better able to belp tbe miser- 
able. On tbis subject Saint Bonaventnre applies to tbe 
* Blessed Virgin tbe words addressed to Rutb : '^ Blessed 
art tbou of tbe Lord, my daugbter, and tby latter kind- 
ness bas surpassed tbe former f^ meaning to say, ' tbat 
if tbe compassion of Mary was great towards tbe miser- 
able wben living in tbi^ world, it is muob greater now 
tbat sbe reigns in Heaven.'^ He tben gives tbe reason 
for tbis, saying, ' that tbe Divine Motber sbows, by 
tbe innumerable graces sbe obtains for us, ber great^ 
mercy; for now sbe is better acquainted witb our 
miseries.'^^ Tbence be adds, ' tbat as tbe splendour 
of tbe sun surpasses tbat of tbe moon, so does tbe com 
passion of Mary, now tbat sbe is in Heaven, surpass 
tbe compassion sbe bad for us wben in tbe world.'^ 
In conclusion, be asks, ' wbo is tbere living in tbis 
world, wbo does not enjoy tbe ligbt of tbe sun t and on 
wbom does not tbe mercy of Mary sbine f ^* 

For tbis reason, in tbe sacred Canticles sbe is called 
" brigbt as tbe sun."^'' * For no one is excluded from 
the warmtb of tbis sun,' says Saint Bonaventnre } and 

" Namqaid, O beata Vir^, quia ita deiflcata, ideo nostw humili^tit 
oblita ei f Neqoaquam Domina . . . non enim oonveoit tantaB iniBeriooi<itai 
tantam miseiiam oblivisoi. — Serm. i. de NeU. B. V. 

^ Benedicta, inquit, es a Domino filia, et priorem miserioordiam pofft«> 
liore superasti. — Buth iii. 10. 

" Magna erga miseris ftiit miserioordia Marin, adhno exolantis in mundo^ 
•ed malto major erga miseros est miserioordia ejus, jam regnantisin oobIoi<— 
Spec. B. M. V. lect. x. 

^^ M^'orem, per beneficia innamerabilia, nunc ostendit hominlboi misorf • 
sordiam, qui magis nunc ridet innumerabilem hominum miseriam. — ib. 

^ Nam qnemadmodum sul lunam superat magnitadine splendorifi 4t 
pnorem Marise miserioordiam superat magnitudo posterioris. — lb. 

^ Quit est super quem miseric<»dia "ilLuim non retpUndeat t— JK 

* JUMta at toL— CoiO. vL ». 

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ike game tlung was also revealed to Saint Bridget, by 
8aint Agnes, who told her, ' that our Queen, now that 
she is united to her Son in Heaven, cannot forget h^ 
innate goodness^ and therefore she shows her com- 
passion to all, even to the most impious sinners ; so 
much so, that, as the celestial and terrestrial boilies are 
all illumined by the sun, so there is no one in the 
world, who, if he asks for it, does not, through the 
tenderness of Mary, partake of the Divine mercy .'^' A 
great sinner, in the kingdom of Valencia, who, having 
become desperate, and, in order not to fall into the 
hands of justice, had determined on becoming a Ma- 
hometan, was on the point of embarking for the pur- 
pose, when, by chance, he passed before a church, in 
which Father Jerome Lopez was preaching on the mercy 
of God. On hearing the sermon he was converted, and 
made his confession to the father, who asked him if he 
had ever practised any devotion, on account of which 
God might have shown him such great mercy ; he re- 
plied, that his only devotion was a prayer to the Blessed 
Virgin, in which he daily begged her not to abandon 
hun,^ In an hospital, the same father found a sinner, 
who had not been to confession for fifty-five years j and 
the only devotion he practised was, that when he saw 
an image of Mary he saluted her, and begged that she 
would not allow him to die in mortal sin. He then 
told him, that on an occasion, when fighting with an 
enemy, his sword was broken ; and, turning to our 
Blessed Lady, he cried out, ' 0, I shall be killed, and 
lost for eternity ; Mother of sinners, help me.' Scarcely 
had he said the words when he found himself trans- 
ported to a place of safety. After making a general 
confession he died, full of confidence. 

Saint Bernard says, ' that Mary has made herself 
all to all, and opens her merciful heart to all, that all 

>* Nnno antem conjanota Filio non obllviscitar innate bonitatis gam, Md 
•d omnei eztendit misericordiam snam etiam ad pessimoi; at float wJeilhi- 
Minantar et inflammentur ooelettia et terrestria, sic, ex doloedine Martai 
BBlIni est, qai non per earn, si petitar, sentiat pietatem^-»£«v. lilv tti. «Ww M 


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y»Ay receive of ber fulness ; the slave redemption^ the 
feick healthy those in affliction comfort, the sinner par- 
don^ and Grod glory; that thos there may be no one who 
can hide himself from her heart.'^ ' Who can there 
be in the world/ exclaims Saint Bonaventnre, ' who re- 
foses to love this most amiable Queen 1 She is more 
beantifal than the son, and sweeter than honey. She 
18 a treasure of goodness, amiable and courteous to 
alL'^ * I salute uiee, then/ continues the enraptured 
Saint, ' my Lady and Mother, nay, even my beak, my 
soul. Forgive me, Mary, if I say that I love thee ; 
for if I am not worthy to love thee, at least thou art 
aU- worthy to be loved by me.'^ 

It was revealed to Saint Gertrude,^ that when these 
words are addressed with devotion to the most Blessed 
Viigin, * Turn, then, most gracious Advocate, thine 
eyes of mercy towards us,' Mary cannot do otherwise 
than yield to the demand of whoever thus invokes her. 

Ah, truly, great Lady/ says Saint Bernard, ' does 
the immensity of thy mercy fill the whole earth.'^ 

And therefore/ says Saint Bonaventure, * this loving 
Mother has so earnest a desire to do good to all, that 
not only is she offended by those who positively out- 
rage her (as some are wicked enough to do), but she is 
offended at those who do not ask her for favours or 
graces.'^ So that Saint Idelbert addresses her, saying: 
' Thou, Lady, teachest us to hope for for greater 

* Maria . . . ooiDibtu omnia fiiota est . . . omnibus miserioordis iinaa 
•poit, Qt de plenitudine ejus accipiant universi : captivus redemptionent. 

•ger curationem, tristia consolatlonem, peocator veniam utnon irit qol 

M abscondat a calore ejus.— ^Serm. in Sign. Magn. 

^ Qnis non te diligit, O Maria . . . pulchriorem sole, dnlciorem mellef . . . 
Omnibus ea amabilis, omnibus es affobilis.~/Sttm. Am. p. iii. Med, tup. SahM 

^ Are domina mea, mater mea, imo cor meum et anima mea . . . IGhl 
parce, domina, quod me amare dicam te. Etenim si non sum dignos, non ea 
wdigna amari. — Ih. cap. 16. 


** Latitado miserioordisB ejus replet orbem terrarnm.— iSSerm. It. «'» Aumm§i, 
A Jf. F. 

* In t«, domina, peceant, son solum qui tibi i^jnriam Irrogant, tad 
fpd la non rogaiat -^ B«f»an, im Spte, Virg. t 

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graces than we deserve, since thou never ceasest to <i 
pense graced far, far beyond our merits.'^ 

The prophet Isaias foretold that, together with tie 
great work of the redemption of the human racO; a 
throne of Divine mercy was to be prepasred for iia 
poor creatures : " And a throne shall be prepared ia 
mercy ."^ What is this throne t Saint Bonaventure an- 
BwerSy * Mary is this throne, at which all — just and Kn* 
ners — find the consolations of mercy.' He then adds : 
' for as we have a most merciful Lord« so also we have a 
most merciful Lady. Our Lord is plenteous in mercy to 
all who call upon Him, and our Lady is plenteous in 
mercy to all who call upon her.'^ As our Lord is full of 
mercy, so also is our Lady ; and as the Son knows not 
how to refuse mercy to those who call upon Him, neither 
does the Mother. Wherefore the Abbot Guarrio thus 
addressed the Mother, in the name of Jesus Christ : ^Mj 
Mother, in thee will I establish the seat of My govern- 
ment ; through thee will I pronounce judgments, hear 
prayers, and grant the graces asked of me. Thou hast 

gVon Me my human nature, and I will gve thee My 
ivine nature,'^ that is, omnipotence, by which thou 
mayest be able to help to save all whomsoever thou 

One day, when Saint Gertrude was addressing the 
above words, ' Turn thine eyes of mercy towards us,' to 
the Divine Mother, she saw the Blessed Virgin point- 
ing to the eyes of her Son, whom she held in her ann% 
and then said, ' These are the most compassionate ey6i 
that I can turn for their salvation towards all who call 

* Dooes nog sperare mi^}om meiiiifl, qua mcrittg tUBJtam largM son d» 
•inls.— J^. SO, BibL Patr, 

" Pneparabitur in misericordte aoliam. — Is, xsi. 5. 

" Soliom divinn niisericordiflB est Maria mater miserioordlaB, in qua 
omnes inveniant solatia miserioordiss. Mam sicut miserioordioeissimani 
Dominnm, ita misericordiosissimam Dotninam habemus. Dominus noster 
multflB misericordin est omnibos invooantibas se, et Domina nostra molta 
miserioordisB est omnibus invooantibas se. — Spec B. M F. leot iz. 

* In te mihi qnandam regni sedem oonstitoam, de te Judioia < . 

per te preoes ezau liam . . . Commonioasti mihi pneter alia qnod homo mil t 
•samonioabo tibi quod Deni BvaML^-aerm, iL dt uUmmmbl JBJL F. 

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ttuBK tbhstk sns iowabbs us. 191 

upon me.'^ A sinner was once weeping before an image 
of Maiy, imploring her ta obtain pardon for bim from 
God, wben be perceived that the Blessed Virgin turned 
towai'ds the child that she held in ber arms, and said, 
* My Son, shall these tears be lost V And be under- 
stood that Jesus Christ had already pardoned Mm.^^ 

How, then, is it possible that any one can perish wbo 
recommends himself to this good Mother, since her Son, 
as God, has promised ber that for her love He will show 
as much mercy as she pleases to all who recommend 
themselves to her ? This our Lord revealed to Saint 
Gertrude, allowing ber to hear Him make the promise 
to His Mother in the following words : ' In My onmi* 
potence, revered Mother, I have granted thee the re- 
conciliation of all sinners who devoutly invoke the aid 
of thy compassion, in whatever way it may please tbee.^ 
On this assurance the Abbot Adam Persenius, consider- 
ing the great power of Mary with God, and, at the same 
time, her great compassion for us, full of confidence, 
says, * Mother of mercy, thy tender compassion is as 
great as thy power, and thou art as compassionate in 
forgiving as thou art powerful in obtaining all.'^ ' And 
wben, be asks, * did the case ever occur in which thou, 
wbo art the Mother of mercy, didst not show compas- 
sion ? 0, when was it that thou, who art the Mother 
of omnipotence, couldst not aid i Ah, yes, with the 
same facility with which thou seest our misfortunes 
thou obtainest for us whatever thou wiliest.'^ * Satiate, 
O satiate thyself, great Queen,' says the Abbot Guarrio 
' with the glory of thy Son, and out of compassion, 
though not for any merit of ours, be pleased to send na, 

** Isti innt misericordiosissimi ocoli mei, qnos ad omnei me Inroenatw 
wlnbriter poBsam inolinare. — Rev. lib. iy. cap. 53. 

" Siniso. 11 Mart, di M. ott 

" Ex omnipotentia mea, Mater reyerenda, tibi oonoeasi potestatem pro- 
l^itiandi peccatia omnium, qui devote InTOoant tnae pietatis auxilium, qoalis 
eumque modo placet tibi. — Rev. lib. iv. cap. 53. 

*' Mater Miserioordis, tauta est pietas tua quanta potestaa. Tarn frfa M 
•d petendum, quam potens ad impetrandum. — MariaL %. 1. 

** Quaud«i non compatieris misHris, mater misericordist ant qaando flBi 
•pem oonferre non poteris, cum kis mater omnipotentia, eadem fticililit> 
•wiienA quodeomque t ifl, qua laoilitate, n<wtm innotesoit i ' ' " 

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thy servants and children here below, the crumbs thai 
fell from thy tabW^s 

Should the sight of our sins ever discourage us, let 
us address the Mother of mercy in the words of William 
of Paris : ' Lady, do not set up my sins against me^ 
for I oppose thy compassion to them. Let it never be 
said that my sins could contend in judgment against 
thy mercy, which is far more powerful to obtain me 
pardon than my sins are to obtain my condemnation.'* 


In the chronicles of the Capuchin fathers''^ it is re- 
lated, that in Venice there was a famous lawyer, who, 
by fraudulent dealTngs and bad practices, became rich, 
80 that he lived in a state of sin. The daily recitation 
ol a particular prayer to the Blessed Virgin was pro- ^ 
bably the only good thing that he ever did. And yet 
this slight devotion obtained him, through the mercy 
of Mary, deliverance from eternal death. It was thus : 
He, happily for himself, took an affection for Father 
Mathew de Basso, and entreated him so often to come 
and dine at his house, that at length this good father 
complied with his request. When he got to the house 
the lawyer said : ' Now, father, I will show you a thing 
you never saw before. I have a most extraordinary 
monkey, who serves me as a valet, washes the glasses, 
lays the table, and opens the door for me.' ' Ah,' re- 
plied the father, * take care, perhaps it is not a monkey, 
but something more 5 bring it here.' They call again 
and again for the monkey, but no monkey appears ; 
they seek for it everywhere, but it is not to be found. 
At Itmgth they discovered it concealed under a bed^ 
in a lower part of the house; but, no, the monkey 

* O mater miMrioordisB, satnrare gloria Filii tui, et dimitte reliquiat toat 
ponmlis tuis. — Serm. iv. de Assump. B. M. V. 

** Ne allegayeris, dulcissima Dei mater, peocata mea contra me, qui mlM* 
itoordiam taam allege contra ea. Absit, at stent in Judioio peocata mea oontis 
flilMricordiam tuam, quaa omnibus vitiis et peocatU saper omnem C0fitatO9 
Ibrtior est et potentior.— 2>e JEUuL Div, cap. !& 


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would not come out. ' Well, tten/ said the religionSi 
* let us go to it J ' and when the lawyer and he reached 
the place where it was, the father cried out, * Infernal 
beast, come forth, and on the part of God I command 
thee to say what thou art.' The monkey replied, 
' that he was the devil, and that he was only waiting 
for that sinner to omit for a single day his ordinary 
prayer to the Mother of God j for, the first time he 
omitted it, he had permission from God to strangle 
him, and cairy him to hell.' On hearing this the 
poor lawyer cast himself on his knees, to ask for help 
from the servant of God, who encouraged him, and 
tommanded the devil to leave the house without doing 
mischief. ' Only,' said he, ' I permit thee to make a 
hole in the wall of the house as a sign of thy depar- 
ture.' He had scarcely said the words than, with a tre- 
mendous noise, a hole was made in the wall, and which, 
though often closed with mortar and stone, God per- 
mitted should remain open for a long time, until at 
length, the seiTant of God advised that it should be 
covered with a marble slab, with the figure of an angel 
on it. The lawyer was converted, and, as we hope^ 
persevered until death in his change of life. 


greatest and most sublime of all creatnreSy most 
sacred Virgin, I salute thee from this earth — ^I, a miser- 
able and unfortunate reb^l against my God, who 
deserve chastisements, not favours, justice, and not 
mercy. O Lady, I say not this because I doubt thy 
compassion. I know that the greater thou art the 
more thou dost glory in being benign. I know thai 
thou rejoicest that thou art so rich, because thou art 
thus enabled to succour us poor miserable creatures, 
I know that the greater is the poverty of those who 
have recourse to thee, the more dost thou exert thy- 
self to protect and save them. O my Mother, it was 
thoQ who didst one day weep over thy Son who died 

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for me. Offer, I beseecli thee, thy tears to God, luid 
by these obtain for me true sorrow for my sins. Sin- 
ners then afflicted thee so much, and I, by niy crimes^ 
have done the same. Obtain for me, Mary, that at 
least from this day forward I may not continue to 
afflict thee and thy Son by my ingratitude. What 
would thy sorrow avail me if I continued to be 
Ungrateful to thee? To what purpose would thy 
meixsy have been shown me, if again I was unfaithful 
and lost ? No, my Queen, permit it not ; thou hast 
supplied for all my shortcomings. Thou obtainest 
from Grod what thou wilt. Thou grantest the prayers 
of all. I ask of thee two graces ; I expect them from 
thee, and will not be satisfied with less. Obtain for 
me that I may be faithful to God, and no more offend 
Him, and love Him during the remainder of my lift 
M rnnoh as I have offend^ Him* 

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SEcnoiir I. Marp delivers her Clients from EeU. 

It is impossible for a client of Mary, wbo is faithful in 
honburing and recommending himself to her, to be lost. 
To some this proposition may appear, at first sight, ex- 
aggerated ; but any one to whom this might seem to be 
the case I would beg to suspend his judgment, and, 
first of all, read what I have to say on this subject. 
When we say that it is impossible for a client of Mary 
to be lost, we most not be understood as speaking of 
those clients who take advantage of this devotion that 
they may sin more freely. And therefore, those who 
disapprove of the great praises bestowed on the clem- 
ency of this most Blessed Virgin, because it causes the 
wicked to take advantage of it to sin with greater 
freedom, do so without foundation, for such presumptive 
people deserve chastisement, and not mercy, for their 
rash confidence. It is therefore to be understood of those 
clients who, with a sincere desire to amend, are faith- 
ful in honouring and recommending themselves to the 
Mother of God. It is, I say, morally impossible that 
each as these should be lost. And I find that Father 
Crasset, in his book on devotion towards the Blessed 
Virgin Mary, says the same thing.^ As did also Vega, 
before him, in his Marian Theology, Mendoza, and 


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other theologians. And that we may see that they cUQ 
not speak at random, let us examine what other Saints 
and learned men have said on this subject j and let no 
one be surprised if many of these quotations are alike 
for I have wished to give them all, in order to shop 
how unanimous the various writers have been on thii» 

Saint Anselm says, ^ that as it is impossible for one 
nrho is not devout to Mary, and consequently not pro- 
tected by her, to be saved, so is it impossible for on» 
who recommends himself to her, and consequently ig 
beloved by her, to be lost.^ Saint Antoninus repeat* 
the same thing ^ and almost in the same words : ' As it 
is impossible for those from whom Mary turns her eyes 
of mercy to be saved, so also are those towards whom 
she turns these eyes, and for whom she prays, neces- 
sarily saved and glorified.'* Consequently the clients 
of Mary will necessarily be saved. 

Let us pay particular attention to the first part of 
the opinions of these Saints, and let those tremble who 
make but little account of, or from carelessness give up 
their devotion to this Divine Mother. They say that 
the salvation of those who are not protected by Mary 
is impossible. Many others declare the same thing ) 
such as Blessed Albert, who says, that ' all those who 
are not thy servants, Mary, will perish.'* And Saint 
Bonaventure : ^He who neglects the service of the bless- 
ed Virgin will die in his sins,'* Again, 'He who does not 
invoke thee, Lady, will never get to heaven.'^ And, 
on the 99th Psalm the Saint even says, ' that not only 
those from whom Mary turns her face will not be 

* Sietit enim, O Beatisslma, omnis a te avenas et a te dMpeotns neoevt 
wt nt intereat, ita omnis ad te oonveraos et a te respeotos impoMibfle est at 
pereat. — Tn Dfpr. li. ad B. V. 

* Impo66ibile e9t, quod illi, qaibas Maria ooulot busb miserioordiaB aTerttI 
•alventar ; ita neoessariam qaod U, ad qnoe oonvertit oonloi ■aoa, fm ail 
•dyooanB, Jostifioentar et §^lorifioentar. — ^P. \r. tit. zr. cap. 14. 

'Genset regnum qaod non lervierit tibi....peribit — B^l, Mar, im J^ 
Ho. 20. 

* Qui negrlezerit illam, morietnr In peoeatto m^B.—In P». ozrl. B. T» 

' Qui te Bon invocat in hao yita, non perraniot ad ngnioi Dti^-iki Al 

kcxzri A M. V» 

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, JBST7S. 197 

•avedy but that there will be no hope of their salTa- 
tion.'^ Before him. Saint Ignatios the martyr saicL 
'that it was impossible for any sinner to be savea 
without the help and favoyr of Uie most Blessed Vir- 
gin ; because those who are not saved by the jnstioe 
of God are, with infinite mercy, saved by the interces- 
sion of Maiy.'* Some doubt as to whether this pas- 
sage is truly of Saint Ignatius ; but, at all event^ as 
Father Crasset remarks, it was adopted by Saint John 
Ohrysostom.^® It is also repeated by the venerablo 
Raymond Jordano.^^ And in the same sense does the 
Church apply to Mary the words of Proverbs, " All 
that hate me, love death : ''^ that is, all who do not 
love me, love eternal death. For, as Richard of Saint 
Lawrence says on the words of the same book, '^ She 
is like the merchant's ship,''^ ' All those who are out 
of this ship will be lost in the sea of the world.'^^ 
Even the heretical (Ecolampadius looked upon little 
devotion to the Mother of Grod as a certain mark of 
reprobation : and therefore he said, ' Far be it from 
me ever to torn from Mary.'^ 

But, on the other hand, Mary says in the words ap- 
plied to her by the Church, '* He that hearkeneth to 
me shall not be confounded ; "^^ that is to say, he that 
listeneth to what I say shall not be lost. On which 
Saint Bonavcnture says, '0 Lady, he who honours 
thee wiU be far from damnation.'^'' And this will 

* A qaiboB averterte ynltam taom noa erit ipes ad wlntem.— Jn Pm, joeiM* 

* Impossibile est aliqnem lalTaii peocatorem, niri per taam, O Vhgo^ 
•nzlliam et Cavorem. Quia qnos non lalvat Dei Jnstitia, lalTat loa liit«> 
6Mfione Maria, miserioordia iniinita.— ^p. Xyr. 2W«. Mar. L tt. m. 4& 

»• In Deprec. ad Virg. t 

" In Contempl. B. Yirg. c. v. 

"* Omnes qui me odenint, dilignnt mortem. — Prwf, iriiL 38. 

" Facta est quasi navis institoris. — Prov. xxxi. 14. 

^ In uiare mundi snbme'gentur omnes illi, qnos nonsiMoepit naTit iflik-* 
JH Laud. V lib. xi. cap. 8. 

^ Nunquam de me audietur, quasi averser Hariam, «ga ooam ndnw 
Wne afflci reprobatSB mentis certam existimem indloiam.— -ST. as XotKl. A 

M Qai aadit me non oonftindetnr. — XccUi. zxly. 30. 

^ Qui poBttat to obieqoio too procal flat a ^mdHkn^-r-B^ JV. enMi 

M» JH* r* 

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still be the case. Saint Hilary observes, even should 
ihe person during the past time have greatly offended 
Gt;d. ' However great a sinner he may have been/ 
says the Saint, 'if he shows himself devout to Mary, 
be will never perish.'^^ 

For this reason the devil does his utmost with sin- 
neis, hi order that, after they have lost the grace of 
God, they may also lose devotion to Mary. When 
Sarah saw Isaac in company with Ismael, who was 
teaching him evil habits, she desired that Abraham 
would drive away both Ismael and his mother Agar : 
" Cast out this bond- woman and her son."^ She was 
not satisfied with the son being tiunned out of the house, 
but insisted on the mother going also, thinking that 
otherwise the son, coming to see his mother, would con- 
linue to frequent the house. The devil, also, is not 
satisfied with a soul turning out Jesus Christ, unless it 
also turns out His Mother : '^ Cast out this bond- woman 
and her son." Otherwise he fears that the Mother will 
again, by her intercession, bring back her Son. ' And 
his fears are well grounded,' says the learned Pacciu- 
^elli ; ^ for he who is faithful in serving the Mother of 
Gk)d will soon receive God Himself by the means of 
Mary.'^ Saint Ephrem, then, was right in callii^ 
devotion to our Blessed Lady *a divine charter,*^ 
our safeguard from hell. The same Saint also 
oalls the Divine Mother ' the only hope of those 
who are in despair.'^ That which Saint Bernard 
Bays is certainly true, 'that neither the power nor 
the will to save us can be wanting to Mary;'^ 
the power cannot be wanting, for it is impossible 
that her prayers should not be heard ; as Saint An- 
toninus says, ^ It is impossible that a Mother of God 

>* Qnantamoamqae quia faerit peocator, si Hari» devotoi eztiteiit, nim- 
%iiam in seteraam peribit. — Cmn, xii. in Matt, f 

^* Ejioe anoillam hano et filiura ejus. — Oen. xzi. 10. 

** Qui Dei Genitnoi perseverantiu- ubsequitor, non malta mon tt D«aai 
l^^m in se recipiet — In Salv. Reg. exo. 5. 

*i Cbarta divinissiraa. — Or, de Laud. V, 

•* Unioa spes dvsperantiim. — Ih. 

" Neo fiMultas el deease iwterit neo YoIontaM.—- An*. L ds Atnmp, A YJi, 

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Bbonld pray in vain f^ and Ssunt Bernard says the same 
tiling : ' that her requests can never be refused, but 
that she obtains whatever she wills.^ The will to save 
us cannot be wanting, for Mary is our Mother, and de- 
•ires our salvation more than we can desire it ourselyei. 
Since, then, this is the case, how can it be possible for •' 
client of Mary to be lost ? He may be a sinner, but if 
be recommends himself to this good Mother with per- 
severance and pmpose of amencSient, she will under- 
take to obtain him light to abandon his wicked state^ 
sorrow for his sins, perseverance in virtue, and, finally, 
a good death. And what mother would not deliver 
her son from death if it only depended on her asking 
the favour to obtain it from the judge f And can we 
think that Mary, who loves her clients with a mother's 
most tender love, will not deliver her child from eternal 
death when she can do it so easily f 

Ah I devout reader, let us tKank our Lord if we see 
that He has given us affection for, and confidence in, 
the Queen of Heaven : ' for,' says Saint John Damas- 
oen, ' God only grants this favour to those whom He is 
determined to save.' The following are the beautiful 
words of the Saint, and with which he rekindles his 
own and our hope : ' mother of God, if I place my 
confidence in thee, I shall be saved. If I am under 
thy protection, I have nothing to fear, for the fact of 
being thy client is the possession of a certainty of sal- 
vation, and which God only grants to those whom 
He intends to save.'^ Therefore Erasmus salutes the 
Blessed Virgin in these words : ' Hail ! terror of 
hell^ hope of Christians; confidence in thee is a 
pledge of salvation.'^ 

0, how enraged is the devil when he sees a soul per- 
severing in devotion to the Divine Mother ! We read 
in the Life of Blessed Alphonsus Rodriguez, who was 

** Imp<)06iDile erat earn non ezandirL — ^P. iv. tit. xr. o. 17. 
* Qaod qiUBrit, invenit, et frustrari non potest— ^SSerm. d* Aqtmd. 
" Ap. Crasset, V6r. D6v. p. 1. tr. 1. q. 6. 

'^ Salve inferoram formidu, Ciristianoram spet ; quo mi^or tit kiB pn^ 
mUmtia^ boo oertior est aottra llducia.— PMm. ad firg* 

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very devout to Mary, tliat once when in prayer, find 
ing himself much troubled by the devil with impure 
thoughts, this enemy said, ' Give up thy devotion to 
Mary, and I will cease to tempt thee/ 

We read in Blosius that God revealed to Saint 
Catherine of Sienna, ' that in His goodness, and OB 
account of the Incai'nate Word, He had granted to 
Mary, who was His Mother, that no one, not even • 
sinner, who devoutly recommends himseK to her should 
ever become the prey of hell.'^ Even the Prophet 
David prayed to be delivered from hell, for the sake of 
the love he bore to Mary. " I have loved, Lord, the 
beauty of Thy house . . . take not away my soul, 
God, with the wicked/'^ He says of * Thy house,' for 
Mary was the house that God himself constructed for 
His dwelling on earth, and in which He could find re- 
pose on becoming man, as it is written in the book 
of Proverbs, " Wisdom hath built herself a house.''*^ 
*No,' says Saint Ignatius the martyr; ^he who is 
devout to the Virgin Mother will certainly never be 
lost.'^^ And Saint Bonaventure confirms this, saying, 
* Thy lovers, Lady, enjoy peace in this life, and will 
never see eternal death.'^ The devout Blosius ai^sures 
us, ^ that the case never did and never will occur in 
which a humble and attentive servant of Mary was 

* 0, how many would have remained obstinate in 
sin, and have been eternally lost,' says Thomas k Kempis, 
^if Mary had not interposed with her Son, that He 

** Marias nnigeniti Filii mei gloriosse genitrioi a bonitate mea c 
Mt propter incarnati Verbi reyerentiam, ut quioamque etiam pecoator ad emuk 
•om devota veneratione reourrit, nallo modo diripiator a dffimone inftrnaH. 
'^Cone. An. Fid. p. ii. cap. i. 

*^ Domine, dilexi decorem domus tua . . . Ne perdas omn impUa, Deii% 
•nimam meam. — Ps. zzv. 8, 9. 

^ Saptentia ffidificarit sibi domain. — Prov. iz. 1. 

*i Numquid peribit, qui genitrici Virgin! devotuB, sedolofqae ezttterit— 
Lohner. Bibl. t. 70. § 3. 

s> Pax malta diligentibus te, Domina : anima eomm son yidebit morlMi 
In mteruum.—rs. Ixvil. B. M, V, 

" Fieri non potest, at pereat qui Maria Mdolof et hmnilii ooUor AMiltw 
Jto Om. ru, $pir. cap. xviiL 

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might show them mercy !^ It is also the opinion ol 
many theologians, and of Saint Thomas^ in particular, 
that for many who have died in nioi-tal sin the Divine 
Mother has obtained from God a suspension of theii 
sentence, and a return to life to do penance. Trust- 
worthy authors give us many instances in which this 
has occurred. Amongst others, Flodoardus, who lived 
about the ninth century, relates in his Chronicles,^ that 
a certain deacon named Adelman, who was apparently 
dead, and was being buried, returned to life, and said 
'that he had seen hell, to which he was condemned, 
but that, at the prayers of the Blessed Virgin, he had 
been sent back to this world to do penance.' 

Surius relates a similar case^ of a Roman citizen 
named Andrew, who had died impenitent, and for 
whom Mary obtained that he should come to life 
again, that he might be pardoned. Pelbertus^ says, 
'that in his time, when the Emperor Sigismund was 
crossing the Alps with his army, a voice was heard 
coming from a skeleton, asking for a confessor, and 
declaring that the Mother of God, for whom he had 
had a tender devotion when a soldier, had obtained 
that he should thus live until he had been able to 
make his confession j and, having done so, the soul 
departed.' These, and other such examples, however, 
must not encourage rash persons to live in sin, with 
the hope that Mary will deliver them from hell even 
should they die in this state ; for as it would be the 
height of folly for any one to throw himself into a well 
with a hope that Mary would preserve his life because 
alie has occasionally preserved some under similar cir- 
cumstances, still greater folly would it be to run the 
risk of dying in sin, in the hope that the Blessed Virgin 
would save him from hell. But these examples serve 
to revive our confidence with the reflection, that if the 

** Qnot ftiissent aeternaliter eondemnati, vel in desperatione permansiiMBi 
•bttinati, nisi benignissima Virgo Maria pro eii interpellasset ad Filiom I— 
P. iii. Serm, ad Nov. iv. 

" Snppl. q. 71. a. 5. •'4 Deo. S. Ann. L 1. o. 35. 

•• Cbron. EccU Bern, anno 934. " Stellar. Cor. B.V. Mb. ziL p^ 1. Ik L 

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Divine Mother has been able to deliver from hell eveit 
some who have died in sin, how much more will she 
be able to preserve from a similar lot those who, during 
life, have recourse to her with a purpose of amendment, 
and who serve her faitiifully ! 

^ What, then, will be our lot, tender Mother/ let 
ns ask with Saint Germanus, 'who are sinners, but de- 
eire to change, and have recourse to thee, who art the 
life of Christians ^^ Saint Anselm says, 'that he will 
not be lost for whom thou once prayest.'^ 0, pray, 
then, for us, and we shall be preserved from hell. 
' Who,' exclaims Richard of Saint Victor, ' will pre- 
sume to say, if I have thee to defend me, Mother of 
mercy, that the Judge will be unfavourable to me when 
I am presented before the Divine tribunal V^ Blessed 
Henry Suso used to say, ' that he had placed his soul 
in the hands of Mary, and that if he was condemned, 
the sentence must pass through her hands f^ being 
confident that if it was in such hands, this tender 
Virgin would certainly prevent its execution. The 
game do I hope for myself, my own most holy 
Queen j and therefore I will always repeat the words 
of Saint Bonaventure: ' In thee, Lady, have I placed 
all my hopes j and thus I confidently trust that I 
shall never be lost, but praise and love thee for ever 
in heaven.'*^ 


In the year 1604, in a city of Flanders, there were 
two young men, students, but who, instead of attending 
to their studies, gave themselves up to a life of debauch- 
ery. One night they were both in the house with an evil 

** Qnidnam aatem de nobis fiet, O aanotissima Delpara, ipfritos et y\m 
Ohrifltianorum ? — De Zona Virg. 

40 iBternum tsb dod sentiet ille pro qao semel oraverit Maria, f 

'^ 8i . . . accedam ad jadioiam, et matrem miserioordisB in oaosa mMl 
habaero mepam, quia judicem denegabit propitiam t — In Cant. cap. ryri»» 

** Si Judex servnm sanm damnare voluerit, p«r manus toas piiagimaa, O 
Maria, hoc iaciat.— ^or. Sap. 1. i. o. 16. 

^ Xn te, Domina, speravi ; non oonftmdar in Btemam.— P«. zzx MJi, F. 

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sompanion, when one of them, named Richard, retorned 
home, leaving his companion there. After he got home, 
and had began to nndress, he remembered he had Boi 
Ihat day said some ' Hail Marys,' that he was in the 
Habit of reciting. Feeling very sleepy he was loth to 
lay them j he did himself violence, and repeated them, 
though without devotion, and half asleep. He then 
Uy down, and had fallen into a sound slumber, when 
he was suddenly roused by a violent knocking at the 
door, and without its opening he saw his companion, 
deformed and hideous, standing before him. ' Who art 
thou f he cried out. * What ! dost thou not know me T 
' Ah, yes ! but how thou art changed ; thou seemest to 
iwe a devil.' ^ Truly,' he exclaimed, ' poor unfortunate 
oreature that I am, I am damned ; and how T When I 
was leaving that wicked house, a devil came and stran* 
gled me ; my body is in the street, and my soul in hell ; 
and thou must know,' added he, ' that the same fate 
awaited thee, had not the Blessed Vh'gin preserved thee 
in consideration of that little act of homage of the 
" Hail, Mary." Fortunate art thou if only thou know- 
est how to take advantage of this warning sent thee by 
the Mother of God.' With these words he opened hii 
mantle, and, showing the flames and seroents by which 
he was tormented, he disappeared. Richard imme- 
diately burst into sobs and tears, and, casting himself 
prostrate on the ground, he returned thanks to Mary, 
his protectress ; and, whilst thinking how to change 
his life, he heard the bell of the Franciscan monastery 
ringing for matins. ' Ah ! it is there,' says he, ' that 
God caUs me to do penance.' He went straight off to 
the convent, and implored the fathers to admit him. 
But thoy were hardly willing to do so, knowing hig 
wicked life j but he, sobbing bitterly, told all that had 
taken place ; and two fathers being sent to the street, 
and having found the strangled body, which was as 
black as a coal, they admitted him. From that time 
%rward Richard led a most exemplary life, and at 
eDgt>i went to preach the gospel in the Indiesi and 

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204 ATmn this otm fixiLfi show mmo trs 

thence to Japan, where lie liad the happiness of giving 
his life for Jesus Christ, being burnt alive for the 


Mary, my most dear Mother, in what an abyss of 
vvjls should I not now be,, if thou badst not so maiiy 
times delivered me with thy compassionate hand ! How 
many years ago should I not have been in hell^ hadst 
thou not saved me by thy powerful prayers ! My 
grievous sins already djrove me there ; Divine justice 
had abeady condemned me ; the devils already longed 
to execute the sentence ; and thou didst fly to my aid, 
and save me without being even called or asked. And 
what return can I make to thee, my beloved pro- 
tectress, for so many favours and for such love T Thou 
also didst overcome the hardness of my heart, and didrt 
draw me to thy love and to confidence in thee. And 
into how mar\y other evils should I not have fallen, if 
with thy compassionate hand thou hadst not so often 
helped me in the dangers into which I was on the point 
of falling ! Continue, my hope, to preserve me from 
hell, and from the sins into which I may still fall. 
Never allow me to have this misfortune — ^to curse thee 
in hell. My beloved Lady, I love thee. Can thy eood- 
ness ever endure to see a servant of thine that loves 
thee lost ? Ah ! then, obtain that I may never more 
be ungrateful to thee and to my God, who for the love 
of thee has granted me so many graces. O Mary, tell 
?ne, shall I be lost? . Yes, if I abandoned thee. But is 
this possible? Can I ever forget the love thou hast 
borne me? Thou, after God, art the love of my soul, 
I can no longer truet myself to live without loving thee. 

*• AppresM* il P. Alf. And. de Bapt Virg. f In the ohnroh of Ham-snr- 
Henre, in Hainanlt, thore te a picture of the martyrdom of F. Richard of St 
Anne with the following inscription : " The Bl. F. Richard of S. Anne, bom 
at Ham-ior-Heure in 1589, made his religioas profession as a Recollect al 
Mirellefl, April 13, 1605, and having been ordained Priest in the Philippine 
lUef, was martyred at Nagasaki, September 10, 1622, behig pot to dMtk by 
plowflra." Slote from F. I>i\)ardia*f Traaflatton.— £d. 

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tBE BLESSED FBtnt 01* THTlWOllfi; JEStrS. 206 

most beautifal, most boly, most amiable, sweetest 
creature in the world, I rejoice m thy happiness, I love 
thee, and I hope always to love thee both in time and 
In etanity. Amen. 

Section II. Sfartf succours her Clients in Purgatory, 

Fortunate, indeed, are the clients of this most com 
passionate Mother; for not only does she succonr them 
m this world, but even in purgatory they are helped and 
comforted by her protection. And as in that prison poor 
souls are in the greatest need of assistance, since in their 
torments they cannot help themselves, our Mother of 
mercy does proportionately more to relieve them. Saint 
Bemardine of Sienna says, Hhat in that prison, where 
souls which are spouses of Jesus Christ are detained, 
Mary has a certain dominion and plenitude of power, not 
only to relieve them, but even to deliver them from 
their pains.'^ 

And, first, with respect to the relief she gives. The 
same Saint, in applying those words of EcclesiasticuSi 
^^I have walked in the waves of the sea,'^ adds, Hhat 
it is by visiting and relieving the necessities and tor- 
ments of her clients, who are her children.'^ He then 
says, * that the pains of purgatory are called waves, be- 
cause they are transitory, unlike the pains of hell, 
which never end ; and they are called waves of the sea, 
because they are so bitter. The clients of Mary, thus 
suffering, are often visited and relieved by her.' ' See, 
therefore,' says Novarinus, ' of what consequence it is to 
be the servant of this good Lady, for her servants she 
never forgets when they are suffering in those fiames; 

> BMia Xvtg^ in regno pnrgatOTii dominium ten«t— iSSMm: Ot di Nmt^ 

Mar, art. 2, cap. 3. 

• In flnctibas maris ambnlayi. — EeeUs. xziy. 8. 

' Scilicet, -risitans et subveniens necessitatibns et tormentif derotorvBi 

veorom : immo et omnium qui ibi existunt, quia iUii tjvB mnt.— iSra. WL^ 

ffmu Jr. Art 2, cap. 

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for thoiigli Mary relieves all suffering souls in poig*^ 
tory, yet she always obtains far greater indulgence and 
relief for her own clients.^ 

The Divine Mother once addressed these words to 
Saint Bridget : ' I am the Mother of all souls in pur- 
gatory ; for ail the pains that they have deserved fof 
their sins are every hour, as long as they remain there, 
In some way migitated by my prayers.'*' Tlie com- 
passionate Mother even condescends to go herself oc- 
casionally into that holy prison, to visit and comfort 
her suffering children. Saint Bonaventure, applying to 
Mary the words of Ecclesiasticus, " I have penetrated 
into the bottom of the deep,"^ says, * the deep, that is, 
purgatory, to relieve by my presence the holy souls 
detained there.'^ ' O, how courteous and benign i^ the 
most Blessed Virgin,' says Saint Vincent Ferrer, * to 
those who suffer in purgatory ! through her they con 
stantly receive comfort and refreshment.'^ 

And what other consolation have they in their 
sufferings than Mary, and the relief they recei^ve from 
this Mother of mercy! Saint Bridget once heard Jesus 
say to His holy Mother, ' Thou art My Mother, th€ 
Mother of mercy, and the consolation of souls in pur- 
gatory.'* The Blessed Virgin herself told the Saint, 
* that as a poor sick person, bedridden, suffering, and 
abandoned, is relieved by words of encouragement and 
consolation, so are the souls in purgatory consoled and 
relieved by only hearing her name.^® The mere name 

* Vides qnantnm referat hio Virginem oolere ao venerari, enm onltona 
•aorum, in porgatoriit flammis ezistentium, non oblivittoatar: et liolt oa* 
•ibus opem ao refrigerium ferat, id tamen prcBoipae erga saoc pnettat — V^rg* 
Umh. ezo. IxxzvL 

< Eg^ gam etiam mater omniam qo! sant in porgatorio^ qcda omnM 
pOBiue, qosB debentar pnrfrandis pro peocatis sniii, in qaalibet hora proplif 
preoes meas qaodammodo mitijnmtar. — ^^ev. lib. iy. cap. 138. 

* Ihroftindum abyssi penetravi. — EceUt, xxiv. 8. 

' Abyssi, id est, paivatorii, adjavans illas sanctas aiiima8.t 

* iiaSnB, . . . bona animabuf purgatorii ; qaia per earn habent vaftm^kam, 
.^^erm. ii. in Nat. B. F. 

* Ta es mater mea . . tn mater misericordin, ta coniolatio ^otnm fll 
•ant in pargatorio. — Lib. !. cap. 16. 

^0 Hoo nomen cam aadiant...Ull, qui in pnrgatorio sunt, ultra i 
gluident, tanqnam SBgiar in leoto Jaoem, d ai iierit ab oliqaibas ' 
" -Lib. i. oap. 9. 

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of Mary, that nam© of hope and salvation, and which 
IB frequently invoked by her beloved children in their 
prison, is a great sonrce of comfort to them ; ' for/ says 
Novarinua, 'that loving Mother no sooner hears them 
call upon her than she offers her prayers to God, and 
these prayers, as & heavenly dew, immediately refresh 
them in their burning pains. ^^ 

Mary not only consoles and relieves her clients \m 
purgatory, but she delivers them by her prayers. Ger- . 
son says, Hhat on the day of her assumption into heaven 
purgatory was entirely emptied.'* Novarinus confirms 
this, saying, Hhat it is maintained by many ffrave au- 
thors, that when Mary was going to. heaven, she asked, 
as a favour from her Son, to take all tbe souls then in 
purgatory with her.'^^ ' And from that time forward,' 
says Gerson, *Mary had the privilege of delivering hei 
servants/ Saint Bemardine of Sienna also positively 
asserts, ' that the Blessed Virgin has the power of de- 
livering souls from purgatory, but particularly those of 
her clients, by her prayers, and by applying her merits 
for them.'" Novarinus says, ' that by the merits of 
•Mary, not only are the pains of those souls lessened, 
but the time of their sufierings is shortened through 
her intercession.'^^ She has only to ask, and all is ^ 

Saint Peter Damian relates, * that a lady named 
Marozia appeared after her death to her godmother, 
and told her that on the feast of the Assumption she, 
together with a multitude exceeding the population of 

" Virginfs nomen Ulamm poBnamm refHiferiam ett. Addit eadem Vliyt 
nreoes, quibos yelati supero qaodamrore, oraoiatoi illi magni mitigantDr.'* 
virg. tfmbr, exo. IxxxvL 

^ Saper. Magrn. tr. 4. 

^ Fenint qaippe bonsB notse anotores,* Virginem moritaramf In ooBlmnqiM 
itnnun, a Filio boo petiisse, at omnes animaa qcue in pnrgatorio detinebaotiu^ 
•eeam ad gloriam ducere poiset. — JTmbr. Virg, exo. Ixxxvi. 

^ Ab lis tormentis liberat Beata Virgo maxime devotos taoa. — Serm. ill, 
* Norn. Mar. a. 2, o. 3. 

** Crediderim omnibus, qui in pnrgatricibns illis flamndt parganmt, 

Ifaite xneritis, non sol am leviores fuisse reditas illas poanaa sed et bra* 

▼iorea oontractioreeqae, adeoat, cruciataam tempos oontraotam Virginia opt 
JlUa wtL-^Umbr, Virg. exo. Ixxxri 

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Bome, had been delivered by Mary from purgatory.'^ 
Denis the Gaithnsian sayS; ^ that on the feasts of the 
Nativity and Resurrection of Jesus Christ Mary does 
th^ same thing ; for on those days, accompanied by 
choirs of angels, she visits that prison, and delivers 
very many souls from their toTmentaJ^I Novarinas 
says, * that he can easily believe that on all her own 
solemn feasts she deUvers many souls from their 

The promise made by our Blessed Lady to Pope 
John XXII. is well known. She appeared to him, 
and ordered him to make known to all that on the 
Saturday after their death she would deliver from pur- 

fatory all who wore the C armeli te scapular. This, as 
'ather Crasset,^^ relates, was proclaimed by the sam^ 
Pontiff in a Bull, which was afterwards confirmed by 
Alexander v., Clement VII., Pius V., Gregory XIII., 
and Paul V. ; and this latter, in a Bull of the year 
1612, says, ' that Christian people may piously believe 
that the Blessed Virgin will help them after death by 
ber continual intercession, her merits, and special 
protection ; and that on Saturdays, the day consecrated^ 
by the Church to her, she will, in a more particular 
manner, help the souls of the brethren of the Confra- 
ternity of our Blessed Lady of Mount Carmel who 
have departed this life in a state of grace, provided 
they have worn the habit, observed the chastity of 
then- state, and recited her office : or, if they could 
not recite it, if they have observed the fasts of the 
Church, and abstained from meat on all Wednesdays 
except Christmas-day.' In the solemn office of our 
Blessed Lady of Mount Carmel we read, that it is 
piously believed that the Blessed Virgin comforts the 

<* Tom. iff. oposG. 34 ; Disp. de Var. App. et Mirao. cap. iii. 

1' Beatissima Virgo singulis annis, in festivitate Nativitatis Chri8ti,*ad 
{mrgatorii looa cam multitudine angelorum descendit, et maltas inde animal 
•ripTt. Etiam in nocte DominicsB Resurrectionis solet desoendere ad parga- 
tonam, pro edaotione animarum. — S. Dion. Cart. Serm. ii. de Astump, 

>* Facile autem orediderim, in Virginis honorem gaodiiqae oamalam, te 
■wwamqae Virgpinis festo plorei animas ab illii poenig esaaL-^SaBC IxzxfL 
^^Tm. tt UY.d.B,,pwt.4 

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bretbren of tWs confraternity in purgatory with ma* 
temal love, and that by her intercession she soon de- 
livers them, and takes them to heaven.*^ 

Why should we not hope for the same graces anJ 
favours, if we are devout clients of this good Mother I 
And if we serve her with more special love, why can 
we not hope to go to heaven immediately after death, 
without even going to purgatory f This really took 
place in the case of Blessed Godfrey, to whom Mary 
sent the following message, by Brother Abondo: * Tell 
Brother Godfrey to endeavour to advance rapidly in 
virtue, and thus he will belong to my Son and to me : 
and when his soul departs, I will not allow it to go to 
purgatory, but will take it and offer it to my Son.'** 
And if we wish to relieve the holy souls in purgatory, 
let us do so by imploring the aid of our Blessed Lady 
in all our prayers, and especially by offering the Rosary 
for them, as that relieves them greatly, as we shall iee 
in the following example 


Father Eusebius Nieremberg^ says, that in a dty 
of Aragon there was a beautiful young lady of noble 
birth named Alexandra, who was courted by two young 
men. Out of jealousy, they one day fought, and 
both were killed. Their enraged relatives, consider- 
ing the young lady as the cause of this sad event, 
murdered her, cut off her head, and threw it into a 
well. Some days afterwards, Saint Dominic passing 
by the spot, and inspired by God, went to the wel^ 
and cried out, ' Alexandra, come forth ! ' In an instant 
the head of the murdered woman came up, SQud re- 
mained on the edge of the -well, and entreated the 
Saint to hear her confession. The Saint did so, and 

** Katerno plnne affeotn, dnm igne ptirgatorii expiantar, lolari, m» !■ 
•iftlMtum patriam obtentu sao quantooitu pie oreditor efbire.— /M /u^ A 
Jfa**. de liont. Cam, zvi. JoL 

«• Men, cut. 3 Oot. 

» Tzwh. Marian. 1. It. 0. 80. 

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in the presence of an immense concourse of peo^ le, 
drawn there by the wonderful event, gave her com- 
munion. He then commanded her to say for what 
reason she had received so great a grace. Alexandra 
replied, that when her head was cut off, she was in 
mortal sin } but that, on account of the Eosary she was 
in the habit of saying in her honor, the most Blessed 
Virgin had kept her alive. The animated head re- 
mained for two days on the edge of the well, so as to 
be seen by all, and after that the soul went to pur- 
gatory. A fortnight afterwards Alexandra appeared, 
beautifal and shining like a star, to Saint Dominic, 
and said, that the Kosary recited for the souls in pur- 
gatory is one of the greatest reliefs that they meet with 
in their torments ; and that, as soon as ever they get 
to heaven, they pray earnestly for those who have per- 
formed this devotion for them. Hardly had she sai^ 
this, when Saint Dominic saw her happy soul ascenc 
with the greatest joy to the kingdom of the blessed. 


O Qneen of heaven and earth ! Mother of the 
Lord of the world! Mary, of all creatures the 
greatest, the most exalted, and the most amiable 1 it 
is true that there are many in this world who neithei 
know thee nor love thee ; but in heaven there are 
many millions of angels and blessed spirits, who love 
and praise thee continually. Even in this world, how 
many happy souls are there not who bum with thy 
love, and live enamoured of thy goodness ! 0, that I 
also could love thee, Lady worthy of all love! O 
that I could always remember to serve thee, to praise 
thee, to honour thee, and engage all to love thee! 
Thou hast attracted the love of God, whom, by thy 
beauty, thou hast, so to say, torn from the bosom of 
His Eternal Father, and engaged to become man, and 
be thy Son. And shall I, a poor worm of the earth, 
not be enamoured of thee 1 No, my most sweet Motheif 

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i also will lo^e thee ranch, and will do all that I can 
to make others love thee also. Accept, then, Mary, 
the desire that I have to love thee, and help me to 
execute it, I know how favourably thy lovers are 
looked upon by God. He, after His own glory, desirea 
nothing more than thine, and to see thee honoured and 
loved by all. From thee, Lady, do I expect all j 
through thee the remission of my sins, through thee 

Serseverance. Thou must assist me at death, and de- 
ver me from purgatory; and finally, thou must lead* 
me to heaven. All til» thy lovers hope from thee, 
and are not deceived. I, who love thee with so much 
affection, and above all others thbgs, after God, hope 
lor the same favours. 

Sbotioh III. Mary leads her Servants to Heaven. 

O, what an evident mark of predestination have 
the servants of Mary I The holy Church, for the con- 
solation of her clients, puts into her mouth the words 
of Ecclesiasticus, "In all these I sought rest, and I 
shall abide in the inheritance of the Lord.'^ Cardinal 
Hugo explains these words, and says, ' Blessed is he 
in whose house the most Holy Virgin finds repose.^ 
Mary, out of the love she bears to all, endeavours to 
excite in all devotion towards herself; many either do 
not admit ii into their souls, or do not preserve it. 
But blessed is he that receives and preserves it. " And 
I shall abide in the inheritance of the Lord.'' ' That 
is,' adds the Cardinal, ' in those who are the inheritance 
of our Lord.' Devotion towards the Blessed Virgin 
remains in all who are the inheritance of our Lord ; 
that is to say, in all who will praise Him eternally in 
heaven. Mary continues, speaking in the words of 

1 In hit omntbof requiem qmeeivi, et in hexeditate Domini mo(alM»>« 
Etelef. zziT. 11. 
* BMtof in rn^vm 4omo xeqoiem inyentxit^/n Lib, MccUt, mp, xthk 

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Eoclesiasticas : '' He that made me rested in my 
tabernacle, and He said to me: Let thy dwelling 
be in Jacob, and thy inheritance in Israel, and take 
root in My elect.'^ That is, my Creator has conde* 
scended to come and repose in my bosom, and His will 
is, that I should dwell in the hearts of all the elect (of 
whom Jacob was a figure, and who are the inheritanoe 
of the Blessed Virgin), and that devotion and confi* 
.dence in me should take root in all the predestined. 
O, how many blessed souls are there now in heaven, 
who would never have been there, had not Mary, by 
her powerful intercession, led them thither : " I made 
that in the heavens there should rise light that never 
faileth/'* Cardinal Hugo, in his commentary on the 
above text of Ecclesiastious, says, in the name of Maiy, 
* I have caused as many lights to shine eternally ia 
heaven as I have clients j' and then he adds, * There 
are many saints in heaven through her intercession^ 
who would never have been there but through her.'* 
Saint Bonaventure says, ' that the gates of heaven will 
open to all who confide in the protection of Mary.'* 
Hence, Saint Ephrem calls devotion to the Divme 
Mother * the unlocking of the gates of the heavenly 
Jerusalem.'^ The devout Blosius also, addressing our 
Blessed Lady, says, ' To thee, Lady, are committed 
the keys and the treasures of the kingdom of heaven.'* 
And therefore we ought constantly to pray to her, in 
the words of Saint Ambrose, * Open to us, O Maiy, 
the gates of paradise, since thou hast its keys.'^ Nay 
moroi the Church says, that ' thou art its gate/ 

* Qui oreavit me reqaievit in tabernaoalo meo ; et' dixit mihi : In Jacoll 
iihabita, et in Israel haereditare, et in eleotia meis mitte mdiow.'-JBodea, 
xxiv. 12. 13. 

* Ego feci in coelis nt oriretur lumen indeficiens. — lb. 8. 

* Hulti . . . sancti sunt in ocelis interoessione eiuB, qui ntmqnam tbi fiilt* 
jent nisi per earn. — In Lib. Ecclet. cap. zziv. 

* Qui speraverit in ilia, porta paradisi reserabitur eL — In Pi, so. d« 
B. M. F. 


' Portamm ocelestis paradisi reseromentum. — Orat de Laud, Virg, 

* Tibi regni ocelestis olaves thesaurique commissi sunt— •PofYwi. Jln. pii 

I. 4. 

▲peri noUf, O Vixgo^ oodam, oi^a slaves babei.t 

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For the same reason, a^gain, is this gieat U .ther 
oalled by the. Church the Star of the Sea, 'Hail, Stai 
of the Seal' 'For,' says the angelical St. Thomas, 
' as sailors are guided by a star to the port, so aiv 
Christians guided to heaven by Mary/^® 

For the same reason, finally, is she called by Saint 
Peter Damian, ' the heavenly ladder.' ' For,' says the 
Saint, ' by Mary God descended from heaven into the 
world, that by her men might ascend from earth to 
heaven.'^^ 'And thou, Lady,' says Saint Athanasius, 
' wast filled with grace, that thou mightest be the way 
of our salyation, and the means of ascent to the hea- 
venly kingdom.^ Saint Bernard calls our Blessed 
Lady ' the heavenly chariot.'^^ And St. John Geo- 
metra salutes her, saying, ' Hail, resplendent car ! '^* 
signifying that she is the car in which her clients 
mount to heaven. 'Blessed are they who know thee, 
Mother of God,' says Saint Bonaventure ; ' for the 
knowledge of thee is the high road to everlasting life, 
and the publication of thy virtues is the way of eter- 
nal salvation.'^^ 

In the Franciscan chronicles it is related that 
Brother Leo once saw a red ladder, on the summit of 
which was Jesus Christ j and a white one, on the top 
of which was His most holy Mother ; and he saw some 
who tried to ascend the red ladder, and they mounted 
a few steps, and fell — they tiled again, and again fell. 
They were then advised to go and try the white ladders 
and by that one they easily ascended, for onr Blessed 
Lady stretched out ner hand and hel^-od them, and 

^ Convenit ei nomen Maria, que interpretatnr Stella maiis : qnla tleat 
p0r ttellam maris nayigantes diriguntar ad portamf ita Chiistiani dirigimtnr 
per Maridm ad gloriam. — Opusc. viii. 

" Soala coBlestis, per quam Sapemus Rex hamiliatos ad ima descendit, et 
homo, qui proetratus Jaoebat, ad saperna ezaltatus, aaoendii — Horn, in Nmk 

^ Ave natioea, Dominiu tecum : quod &ota sis nobis salatis via} 
fnsque adsuperos. — Serm. i. in Annwic. B. M. V. 

" Tibi vehiculum voluit providere. — Serm. de Aquad, 

^ Gaude . . . clariseime currus. — Hymn, in Deip. Virg. 

** Scire et oognosoere te est radix immortalitatuis ft 
tHi«lTiAaala^~P<. Ixzzr.i?. M» V. 

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BO thev got safely to heaven.^ Denis the Gartlmsian 
asks, 'Who is there that is saved t who is there that 
reigns in heaven f ' And he answers, ' They are cer- 
tainly saved and reiffn in heaven for whom this Queen 
of mercy intercedes.'^ And this Mary herself confirms 
in the book of Proverbs, "By me kings reign ;^" 
through my intercession souls reign, first m this mor- 
tal life by ruling theii* passions, and so come to reign 
eternally in heaven, where, says Saint Augustine, 
'all are kings.'^^ 'Mary, in fine,' says Richard of 
Saint Lawrence, ' is the mistress of heaven ; for there 
she commands as she wills, and admits whom she 
wills/ And applying to her the words of Ecclesi- 
asticus, "And my power was in Jerusalem,''^ he 
makes her eay, ' I command what I will, and inlxo- 
duce whom I will.'^^ Our Blessed Lady, being 
Mother of the Lord of Heaven, it is reasonable that 
she also should be sovereign Lady of that kingdom, 
according to Rupert, who says, ' that by right, she 
possesses the whole kingdom of her Son.'^ Saint An- 
toninus tells us ' that this Divine Mother has already, 
by her assistance and prayers, obtained heaven lor us, 
provided we put no obstacle in the way.*^ Hence, 
says the Abbot Guarric, ' he who serves Mary, and for 
whom she intercedes is as certain of heaven as if he 
was already there.'^ Saint John Damascen also says, 
* that to serve Mary and be her courtier is the greatest 
honour we can possibly possess j for to serve the Queen 
of Heaven is already to reign there, and to live under 

^ Wadding, ann. 12233. n. 28. 

^ Quia salvatar f quig regnat in ooelo t nii fane pro qidbnt Begiiui mlw 
riandin interpellat. t 

" Per me legea regnant. — Prcv, vilL 15. 

*• Qaot oiTes, tot reges. t 

^ la Jerusalem potestas mea.— .EccZm. xziy. 15. 

" Imperando soilioet, quidqnid Tolo . . . et quof Tolo faitrodaoendow->-lKi 
LaucL Virg. lib. iv. cap. 4. 

**Regiaa ocelonun totom Jure poBsidenB Fiiii renniam.— Lib. UL im 

" CkBlefte nobis regnnm sno inttsrvmita, aoxiliif et predbos impetniTlt.— > 
B, AnL p. 1y. tit 15, o. 2, ( L t 
** Qui Virgin! fitmalatar, ita PMoms eft d* pamdifo, aq |l eiiat i* wtnt 

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her commands is more than to govern.'^ On the othei 
hand, lie adds, ' that those who do not serve Mary will 
not be saved ; for those who are deprived of the help 
of this great Mother are also deprived of that of her 
Son and of the whole court of heaven.^ ' May the 
infinite goodness of our Lord be ever praised,' says Saint 
Bernard, ' for having been pleased to give us Mary as 
our advocate in heaven, that she, being at the same time 
the Mother of our Judge and a Mother of mercy, may 
be able, by her intercession, to conduct to a prosperous 
issue the great affair of our eternal salvation.^ Saint 
James, a doctor of the Greek Church, says, ' that God 
destined Mary as a biidge of salvation, by using which 
we might with safety pass over the stormy sea of this 
world, and reach the happy haven of paradise.^ There- 
fore Saint Bonaventure exclaims, * Give ear, ye na- 
tions 5 and all you who desire heaven, serve, honour 
Mary, and certainly you will find eternal life.^ 

Nor should those even who have deserved hell be 
in the least doubtful as to obtaining heaven, provided 
they are faithful in sei-ving this Queen. ' O, how many 
sinners,' says Saint Germanus, * have found God and 
have been saved by thy means, O Mary !'^ Richard 
of Saint Lawrence remarks, that Saint John in the 
Apocalypse says that Mary was crowned with stars : 
" And on her head a crown of twelve stars. '^^ On the 
other hand, in the sacred Canticles, she is said to be 
crowned with wild beasts, lions, and leopards : " Come 

*^ SammuB honor servire Mariae, et de ejus esse femilia. Etenim ei ser 
▼Ire regnare est, et ejus agi fraenis plusquam reg^um.— Damage, de Bxc F. 

^ Oens qusB noQ servient illi, peribit. Gentes destitutse taDtse Matris 
Auzilio destitauntor auxilio Filii et totins curias coeleRtis. — Jb. t 

'■" Adrocatam praemisit peregrinatio nostra : quse tamquam Jadicis Mjtter 
•t xater misericordisB. suppHcitor et efficaciter salutis nostrsB negotia per* 
trid^taou. — Serm. i. ae A»s. 

^ Earn ta pontem fecisti, quo a roundi fluctibus trajioientes, ad traa- 
^nillam pcrtum tnum perveniainus. — In Nat. Dtxp. 

^ Audite haeo, omnes gentes qui ingredi cupitis regnum Dei. Virjgi* 

aem Mariam honorate : et iu-venietis vitam et salutem perpetuam. — Pt, 
KlvUi. B. M. V. 

** Per te peocatores ezquiiierunt Deum, et salvi &oti sunt.— in JDtfM. M 
r. «rat. ii. 

** Bt in Mpitft «jns corona steUarum duodaoiin.--v4l'<'^ ^^ ^ 

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from Libanus, my spouse, come from libanas, ootne ; 
thou shalt be crowned . . . from the dens of the lions, 
from the mountains of the leopards."^ How is this ! 
He answers, that ' these wild beasts are sinners, who 
by the favour and intercession of Mary have become 
stars of paradise, better adapted to the head of this 
Queen of mercy than all the material stars of heaven.'" 
We read in the life of the servant of God, Sister Sera- 
phina of Capri, that once during the novena of the 
Assumption of Mary she asked our Blessed Lady for 
the conversion of a thousand sinners, but afterwards 
thought that she had asked too much ; and then the 
Blessed Virgin appeared to her, and corrected her for 
her ungrounded anxiety, saying, 'Why dost thou fearf 
Is it that I am not sufficiently powerful to obtain from 
my Son the conversion of a thousand sinners t See, I 
have akeady obtained the favour.' With these words, 
she took her in spirit to heaven, and there showed her 
innumerable souls which had deserved hell, but had 
been saved through her intercession, and were already 
enjoying eternal happiness. 

It is true that in this world no one can be certain 
of his salvation : " Man knoweth not whether he be 
worthy of love or hatred,'' says Ecclesiastes.^ But 
Saint Bonaventure, on the words of King David, " Lord, 
who shall dwell in Thy tabernacle ?"^ and on the pre- 
ceding quotation, answers, ' Sinners, let us follow Mary 
closely, and casting ourselves at her feet, let us not 
leave them until she has blessed us ; for her blessing 
will insure our salvation.'* ' It suffices, Lady,' says 
Saint Anselm, ' that thou wiliest it, and our salvation 

** VenI de Libano, sponsa mea, veni de Libano, ven! : coronaberii de 
CBbilibus leonam, de montibos pardoram. — Cant. iv. 8. 

S3 Etquid est boo? Di<<i quod tens per gratiam et orationef Maris fiout 
■tellfB, nttsonveniant oapiti tantsB reginsB. — 1>4 Laud. V. lib. iii. cap. 13. 

** Nesoit bomo, atrum amore an odio dignns tit. Sed omnia in fotaram 
•ervantur inoerta. — Eccl. ix. ], 2. 

** Domine, quia habitabit in tabemaoulo tuof— P<. ziv. 1. 

** Ampleotamor Marias vestigia peooatorea ; et c^joa beatis pedibna pro ' 
▼olyamor. Teneamas earn fortiter, neo dimittamna, doneo ab ea s 
tMMdid.~P«. jdT. B, M. r. 

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fa oertain.'^ And Saint Antoninus says that, ' soala 
protected by Mary, and on which she casts her eyes, 
are necessarily justifieiL and saved.'^ 

' With reason, thereiore,' observes Saint Ildephon* 
8«L8, ' did the most Holy Virgin predict that all genera- 
tions would call her blessed f^ * for all the elect obtain 
eternal salvation through the means of Mary.'^ ' And 
thou, O great Mother, says Saint Methodius, ' art the 
beginning, the middle, and the end of our happiness j'** 
—the beginning, for Mary obtains us the pardon of 
our sins ; the middle, for she obtains us perseverance in 
divine grace ; and the end, for she finally obtains us 
heaven. * By thee, Mary, was heaven opened,' says 
St. Bernard ; ' By thee was hell emptied ; by thee was 
paradise restored ; and through thee, in fine, is eternal 
me given to so many miserable creatures who deserved 
eternal death.'** 

But that which above all should encourage us to hope 
with confidence for heaven, is the beautiful promise 
made by Mary herseK to all who honour her, and 
especially to those who, by word and example, endea- 
vour to make her known and honoured by others: 
*^They that work by me shall not sin j they ^that ex- 
plain me shall have life everlasting.''*^ ' 0, happy they 
who obtain the favour of Mary !' exclaims Saint Bona- 
venture ; ' they will be recognized by the blessed as 
their companions, and whoever bears the stamp of a 
servant of Mary is already enrolled in the Book of 

^ Tantnmmodo . - , velia salatom nostram, «t yere neqttaquaia nlri MM 
Mn poterimas. — De Exc. Virg. cap. vi. 

** NeoesMurium est, quod hi, ad qnos (Maria) oonvertit ocalm taot, jgn 
«!■ odyooans, jastificentur et glorificentar.— P. iy. tit. zy. o. 17. 

** Beatam me dioent omneg generationes. — Lve. i. 48. 

^Beatajure dioitar, quia oxnnefl ex ea beatifioantar. — Serm. iiL 4t 

*^ Tn solenmitatiB nostisB ezoTdinin, ta mediam, ta flnit.— 1>« Aimoim H 

^ Per te . . . o<]e1uin repletam, infemni eyaonatas est : instaaratas mliMi 
Ottlestis Jerusalem: ezpectantibos miaoris yita perdita data.— iSinn. It. d$ 
AMtufmp. B, Virg, 

^ Qai operantor in me, non peooabimt i qui elaoidant ma, yttaa mUm, 31. 

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life.^ Why, then, should We trouble ourselves abcmt 
the opinions of scholastics as to whether predestination 
to glory precedes or follows the prevision of merits t 
If we are true servants of Maryland obtain her protec- 
tion, we most certainly shall be inscribed in the BooV 
of Life ; for, says Saint John Damascen, * God only 
grants devotion towards His most Holy Mother to 
those whom He will save.' This is also clearly ex- 
pressed by our Lord in Saint John : " He that shall 
overcome . . • I will write upon him the name of My 
God, and the name of the city of My God."**' And 
who but Mary is this city of God f observes Saint Greg- 
ory on the words of David j " Glorious things are said 
of thee, O city of God.''** 

Correctly, then, can we here say with Saint Paul^ 
" Having this seal, the Lord knoweth who are His -,'" 
that is to say, whoever carries with him the mark of 
devotion to Mary is recognized by God as His. Hence 
Saint Bernard writes, that ' devotion to the Mother of 
God is a most certain mark of eternal salvation.'*^ Blessed 
Alan, speaking of the ^ Hail Mary,' also says, that 'who- 
ever often honours our Blessed Lady with this angeli- 
cal salutation has a very great mark of predestination.'** 
He says the same thing of perseverance in the daily 
recital of the Rosary, ' that those who do so have a very 
great assurance of salvation.'^ Father Nieremberg says, 
in the tenth chapter of his book on Affection for Mary^ 
that * the servants of the Mother of God are not only 
privileged and favoured in this world, but even in hea- 
ven they are more particularly honoured,' He then 

^ Qui aoqairit ^pratiam Mariao, agnoBoettir a civibns paradi^t et qui ha* 
oaerit characterem Dominis ejus, adnotabitar in libro ▼itsB.^Pt. zoL dit 

B. r. M. 

^ Qai vicerit . . . scribam super earn nomen Dei mei, et nomen dyitatif 

Dei mei. — Apoc. iii. 12. 
^ Olorioea dicta sunt de te ciritas Dei.— P«. Irxxvi. 3. 
^ Habeas sigoaculum hoc, cofi^uovit Dominus qui sunt e\xis. — 2 TCmJtU3, 
^ Certissimum est sigtium salutis seternsB ooDsequend». f 
^ Habentibus devotionem ad hano, signum est pnedestiaationii pwnuif 

nam ad gioriam. — De PsaU. p. 2. c. 11. 
** Signom sit tibi probabilissimum flsternn salutiB, si peneyenuit te 

#M«Hi in fuo ptaltorio •alataT«ti«.— He Fmi, p.a;o.ll»pi>4, •wSi 

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adds : ' that in heaven they will be recognized as ser- 
vants of its Queen, and as belonging to her court, by a 
distinguishing and richer garment/ according to the 
words of the Proverbs, " AS her domestics are clothed 
with double garments/*^^ 

Saint Mary Magdalen of Pazzi saw a vessel in tlie 
midst of the sea : in it were all the clients of Mary, 
and this Blessed Mother herself steered it safely into 
the port. By this the Saint understood, that those who 
live under the protection of Mary are secure, in the 
midst of the dangers of this life, from the shipwreck of 
sin, and from eternal damnation^ for she guides them 
safely into the haven of salvation. Let us then enter 
this blessed ship of the mantle of Mary, and there we 
can be certain of the kingdom of heaven ; for the Ghurcli 
says : ' holy Mother of God, all those who will be 
partakers of eternal happiness dwell in theOi living 
under thy protection.'® 


Oflesarius^ relates, that a Gisterdan who was yeiy 
devout to the Blessed Virgin desired to receive a visit 
from this dear Lady, and continually asked for it in 
his prayers. Being one night in the garden, as he was 
looking up to heaven and sighing with the desire of 
seeing her, he beheld a beautiful virgin coming down 
from heaven surrounded with light, who said to him, 
* Thomas, would you hear me sing V * Certainly,' he 
replied. And forthwith the virgin sang with such sweet- 
ness, that the monk believed himself to be in paradise. 
As soon as she had ceased to sing, she disappeared, 
leaving him full of desire to know who she was. But, 
behold, another most beautiful virgin appeared to him 
who also let him hear her sing. Upon this he could no 
longer restrain himself from asking who she might be 
She replied, ' She whom you saw just now was Gathe* 

1 OmnM enim domestici ejus vestiti ftmt dnplioibiu. — Prw, zzzL fL 
* 8|ient Istantiiim omniom bibitatio 6ft in to» aaaota Dd OftnltriJCi 

■iNia.1.*. «.ss. 

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line, and I am Agnes, both martyrs of Jesus Chnst , 
and we are sent by our Lady to console you. Give 
tbanks to Mary, and prepare yourself to receive a greatei 
favour/ And saying this she disappeared. But the 
monk had now greater hopes to see at last his Queen* 
He was not deceived ; for he presently saw a bright 
light, and felt his heart filled with a new joy ; and, be- 
hold, the Mother of God appeared in the midst of tha 
light, surrounded by angels, and of a beauty incom- 
parably greater than that of the two other Saints, and 
Biud to hnn, 'My dear servant and son, I have accepted 
your devotion to me, and have heard your prayers : you 
have desired to see me j behold me, and I will allow 
you to hear me also sing.' The most Holy Virgin be- 
gan to sing 5 and so great was the sweetness, that the 
pious monk lost his senses, and fell with his face to the 
ground. The bell for matins rang ; the monks assem- 
bled in choir, and not seeing Thomas, sought for him 
in his cell and in other places. At last they found him 
in the garden, as it were dead. The Superior ordered 
him to relate what had happened to him ; and then 
coming to himself, through virtue of obedience he re- 
lated all the favours he had received from the Divine 


O Queen of Heaven, Mother of holy love! since 
thou art the most amiable of creatures, the most be- 
loved of God, and His greatest lover, be pleased to 
allow the most miserable sinner living in this world; 
who, having by thy means been delivered from hell 
and without any merit on his part been so benefited 
by thee, and who is filled with love for thee, to love 
thee. I would desire, were it in my power, to let aU 
men who know thee not know how worthy thou art 
of love, that all might love and honour thee. I would 
desire to die for the love of thee, in defence of thy vir- 
ginity, of thy dignity of Mother of God, of thy Im 

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nmcnlate Oonoepiion^ should this be necessary, to up- 
hold these thy great pri\aleges. Ah ! my most beloved 
Mother, accept this tny ardent desire, and never allow a 
servant of thine, who loves thee, to become the enemy 
of thy God, whom thou lovest so much. Alas ! poor 
me, I was so for a thne, when I offended my Lord. 
But then, Mary, I loved thee but little, and strove 
but little to be beloved by thee. But now there is 
nothing that I so much desire, after the grace of God, 
as to love and be loved by thee. I am not dis- 
couraged on account of my past sins, for I know that 
thou, most benign and gracious Lady, dost not dis- 
dain to love even the most wretched sinners who love 
thee ; nay more, that thou never allowest thyself to be 
surpassed by any in love. Ah ! Queen most worthy 
of love, I desire to love thee in heaven. There, at thy 
feet, I shall better know how worthy thou art of love, 
how much thou hast don;6 to save me ; and thus I shall 
love thee with greater love, and love thee eternally, 
without fear of ever ceasing to love thee. Mary, I 
hope most certainly to be saved by thy means. Pray 
to Jesus for me. Nothing else is needed ; thou hast 
to save me j thou art my hope. I will therefore al- 
waya siiig Mary, my hope, thou hast to save me. 

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€lf (he greatness qf the Clemency and Comgastkm 
of Mary. 

Saint Bebnabd, speaking of the great compassion of 
Mary towards us poor creatures, says, ' that she is the 
land overflowing with milk and honey promised by 
God.'^ Hence Saint Leo observes, * that the Blessed 
Virgin has so merciful a heart, that she deserves not 
only to be called merciful, but mercy itself.'* Saint 
Bonaventnre also, considering that Mary was made 
Mother of God on account of the miserable, and that 
to her is committed the charge of dispensing mercy j 
considering, moreover, the tender care she takes of all, 
and that her compassion is so great that she seems to 
have no other desire than that of relieving the needy j 
says, that when he looks at her, he seems no longer to 
see the justice of God, but only the divine Mercy, of 
which Mary is full. * Lady, when I behold thee, I 
can only discern mercy, for thou wast made Mother of 
God for the wretched, and then thou wast intrusted 
with their charge : thou art aU solicitude for them \ 
thou art walled in with mercy ; thy only wish is to 
show it.^ In fine, the compassion of Mary is so greal 
towards us, that the Abbot Guarric says, ^ that her 

' Term repromissioDib Maria, laote et melle ctanaos.— iSisnn. nip. AAk 

* Maria adeo pitedlta est miserioordias ylsoeribiu, at non tantam mlw* 
rioora, sed ipsa misericordia dici promereatur. — Strm. i. dt Nat, 2>om.t 

' Certe, Domina, cam te aspicio, nihil nisi miserioordiam cerna Nam 
pro niiseris Mater Dei focta es, misericordiam insaper ^naisti, et demoM 
fibi miserendi est offioiam commissum. Undiifae sollioita de miterte, am 
diqae misericordia vallaris, tolom misereri ta Videris appetere.— ffli'ii , Jl% 

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loving heart can never remain a noment without 
bringing forth its fruits of tenderness."** ' And what/ 
exclaims Saint Bernard, ' can ever flow from a source 
of compassion but compassion itseKf^ Maiy isalso 
called an olive-tree: "As a fair olive-tree on the 
plains."® For as from the olive, oil (a symbol of 
mercy) alone is extracted, so from the hands of Maiy 
graces and mercy alone proceed. Hence the venerable 
Father Louis de Ponte says, ' that Mary may properly 
be called the Mother of oil, since she is the Mother 
of mercy.'' And thus, when we go to this good Mother 
for the oil of her mercy, we cannot fear that she will 
deny it to us, as the wise virgins in the Gospel did to 
the foolish ones : " lest perhaps there be not enough 
for us and for you."' O no ! for she is indeed rich in 
this oil of mercy, as Saint Bona venture assures o8, 
' Mary is filled with the oil of compassion.'® She it 
called by the Church not only a prudent Virgin, but 
most prudent, that we may understand, says Hugo of 
Saint Victor, that she is so full of grace and- compas- 
sion, that she can supply all, without losing any her- 
self. * Thou, Blessed Virgin, art full of grace, and 
indeed so full, that the whole world may draw of this 
overflowing oil.' 'For if the prudent virgins pro- 
vided oil in vessels with their lamps, thou, most 
prudent Virgin, hast borne an overflowing and inex- 
haustible vessel, from which, the oil of mercy stream- 
ing, thou replenishest the lamps of all.'^® 

But why, lask, is this beautiful olive-tree said to 

* Ct^os viscera ntrnqnam desinant fruotum partorixv ptotatfib— 

< Quid de fonte pietatis piocederet, nisi pietas f— iSierm. L inlKpoHWfk 

* Quasi oliva speciosa in campis. — Ecd. xxiy. 19. 

' Optime dici potest Mater olei, nam est Mater miserioordis. — In €kmi, 
i 1. exh. 21. 

* Ne forte non snfBoiat nobis et vobis. — Matt. zz. 9. 

* Maria plena est . . . oleo pietatis. — Spec B. M. V. lect. -vii. 

^® Gratia plena, in tantum plena, nt ex too redundante totas hMurfat 
mundus. Si enim "prndentes virgines oleum accepeiunt in vasis sais cum 
lampadtbus," tu prudentissima Virgo et Virgo virginum, non anum tantam 
Tas nabnisti oleo gratisB repletum, quo lanipadem tuam inesctinguibiliter 
ardentem nutrires, sed aliud gestasti vas redundans et indeficient, ex qua 
•fltiso oleo misericordia omnium lampades iUomiaaretk— i>f V§rb, Mt^ 

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i^i CLEMEKT, PlOtrS. 

stand in the midst of the plains, and not rather in the 
midst of a garden, sorrounded by a wall and hedges T 
The same Hugo of St. Victor tells ns, that it is * tliat 
all may see her, that all may go to her for refuge ; '^* 
that all may see her easily, and as easily have recourse 
to her, to obtain remedies for all their ills. This bean 
tiful expk,nation is confirmed by Saint Antoninus, who 
says, ^ that all can go to, and gather the fruit of, an 
olive-tree that is exposed in the midst of a plain ; and 
thus all, both just and sinners, can have recourse to 
Mary, to obtain her mercy .'^ He then adds, ' O, how 
many sentences of condemnation has not this moot 
Blessed Virgin revoked by her compassionate prayers, 
in favour of sinners who have had recourse to her!'^ 
' And what safer refuge,' says the devout Thomas k 
Kempis, ^can we ever find than the compassionate 
heart of Mary? there the poor find a home, the infirm 
a remedy, the afflicted relief, the doubtful counsel, and 
the abandoned succour.'^* 

Wretched indeed should we be, had we not- this 
Mother of mercy always attentive and solicitous to 
relieve us in our wants ! " Where there is no woman, 
he monmeth that is in want."^' says the Holy Ghost. 
* This woman,' says Saint John Damascen, *is precisely 
the most Blessed Virgin Mary-; and wherever this most 
holy woman is not, the sick man groans.'^^ And surely 
it cannot be otherwise, since all graces are dispensed at 
the prayer of Mary ; and where this is wanting, there 
oaii be no hope of mercy, as our Lord gave Saint 

" Palt Beata Maria oUva per mfserioordiam . . . Et bene In campis . . . 
Vt omnes peooatores ad ipgam libera et absque impedimento reipioiant, ad 
Iptam confugiant. — Serm. It. de Ass. B. V. 

1* Ad olivam, qu» est speoiosa in campis, omnes possnnt aooedere, et aooi 

C>re fruotum ejus, sic ad Mariam et Justi et peccatores accedere possnnt, ul 
de misericordiam accipiant. — P. iii. tit. xxxi. cap. 4. 

" O qmt sententias terribilium flagellorum, quss meruit mundus propter 
peooata sua, hsBO sanctissima Vir^o misericorditer revocavit \—Ih, 

1* Non esi tutioT locus ad latendum quam sinus Marias . . . Ibi paap« 
babet domicilium, ibi infirmus invenit remedinm, ibi tristis aocipit folaUm^ 
tbi torbatus meretnr consilium, ibi destitutus acquirit Juyamen.— ^Ana^ V 

** UU non est mailer, ingemtooit erens. — Eecl. xxxvi. 27. 

** Inffenitoit infiiaoi, aU non fnem hmo sanotiadnaa moliMi*! 

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Bridget to understand in these words : ' Unless the 
prayers of Mary interposed, there could be no hope 
of mercy Z^''' 

But perhaps we fear that Mary does^not see, or does 
not feci for, OTU necessities! no, she sees and feels 
them far better than we do ourselves. * There is not 
one amongst all the Saints/ says Saint Antoninus, 
*who can ever feel for us in our miseries, both corporal 
and spiiitual, like this woman, the most Blessed Virgin 
Mary.'^^ So much so, that there where she sees misery, 
she cannot do otherwise than instantly fly and relieve 
it with her tender compassion.^^ Richard of Saint 
Victor repeats the same thing ; and Mendoza says, 
* Therefore, most Blessed Virgin, thou dispensest 
thy mercies with a generous hand, wherever thou seest 
necessities.'^ Our good Mother herself protests that 
she will never cease to fulfil this office of mercy : 
" And unto the world to come I shall not cease to be, 
and in the holy dwelling-place I have ministered before 
him } ^^^ that is, as Cardinal Hugo explains, ' I will 
never cease until the end of the world relieving the 
miseries of men, and praying for sinners,'^ that they 
may be delivered from eternal misery, and be saved. 

Suetonius relates,^ that the Emperor Titus was so 
desirous of rendering service to those who applied to 
him, that, when a day passed without his being able 
to grant a favour, he used to say with sorrow, * I have 
lost a day ; for I have spent it without benefiting any 
one.^ It is probable that Titus spoke thus more from 

" NM preces Matris men intenrenirent, non eiset spes miseiiooTdis.— 
Bev. Ub. vi. cap. 26. 

^" Kon reperitur aliquem sanctorum ita compati et adjavare hi infirmite* 
tibns spirit ualibuB et corporalibus mgna personis, sioat mulier h»o beatA 
y\Tgo Maria. — P. iv. tit x\. cap. 2. 

^^Ubicumqne faerit miseria, tna et carrit et saocurrit miseriobrdia.— ill 
Cant. Exp. cap. 23. 

** Itaque, O Virgo Mater, ubi nostras miserias Jnvenis, ibi tnas miseri* 
nordias effiindis. — In Lib. i. Beg. cap. 4, No. 11. 

^^ Et usque ad futurum saeculnm non desinam ; et In habitatione lanoia 
coram ipso ministravi. — Eccl. xxiv. 14. 

^ Usque ad futurum saeoulum, quod est sseonlum beatorum, non detinaai 
miseris snbvenire, humiles introdacere, et pro pecoatoribus orare.— if» <mp. 
sziy. Xecl. 

«2nTit.<i.a A 

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vanity^ and the desire of being esteemed; tLan fix^so 
true charity. But should such a thing happen to e^ 
Emp'-esff Mary, as to have to pass a day without grant* 
ing a grace, she would speak as Titus did, but from a 
true desire to serve us, and because she is full of charitir. 

* So much so, indeed^ says Bemardine de Bustis, 'tiu** 
she is more anxious to grant us graces than we are ta 
leceive them.'^ 'And therefore,' says the same author, 

* whenever we go to her, we always find her hands 
filled with mercy and liberality.'^ 

Rebecca was a figure of Mary ; and she, when asked 
by Abraham's servant for a little water to drink re- 
plied, that not only would she give him plenty for him- 
self, hut also for his camels, saying, *'I will draw 
water for thy camels, also, till they «dl drink.*^ On 
these words Saint Bernard addresses our Blessed Lady, 
saying : ' Mary, thou art far more liberal and com- 
passionate than Rebecca; and therefore thou art not 
satisfied with distributing the treasures of thy immense 
mercy only to the just, of whom Abraham's servants 
were types, but also thou bestowest them on sinners 
who are signified by the camels.'^ ' The liberality of 
Mary,' says Richard of Saint Lawrence, ' is like that 
of her Son, who always gives more than He is asked 
for.'^ " He is," says Saint Paul, " rich unto all that 
C5all upon Him." ' And the liberality of Mary is like 
His: she bestows more than is sought.'^ Hear how 
a devout writer thus addresses the Blessed Virgin : * O 
Lady, do thou pray for me, for thou wilt ask for the 
graces I require with greater devotion than I can 
dare to ask for them; and thou wilt obtain far 

** Flni enim desiderat ipsa &oere tibi bonnm, et largiri alfqnam gratiaBk 
^oam to aooipere ooncupisoas. — Mar, pars ii. Senn, y. de Nat M. 

** Inyenies enim earn in manibus plenam, pietate, miserieordia, gm* 
Hositate, et largritate.— il^. 

** Quia et oamelis tuis haoriam aquam, doneo onnoti bibant— G^m. xxlr 

^ Domina . . . neo pnero Abrahs tantam, sed et oamelis potoin triboai 
4* ioperefflaeati bvdria taa.— iS^erm. Sign, Mag. 

**Largitas Marue imitator et assimilat Ictfgitatem Filii fui, qui ill 
finpiios qoam petator.— 2>e Laud. Virg. 1. ir cap. 88. 

M IMvM la omnet qoi inyooant illam.— Aoni. z. IX 

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greater g^^^s from Grod for me than I can piesome 
to seek.*^ 

"Wlien the Samaritans refused to receive Jesus Christ 
and His doctrines, Saint James and Saint John asked 
Him whether they should command fire to fall from 
heaven and devour them; our Lord replied, "You 
know not of what spirit you are."^^ As if He had 
eaid, ^I am of so tender and compassionate a spirit 
that I came from heaven to save and not to chastise 
sinners, and you wish to see them lost. Fire, indeed ! 
and punishment ! — speak no more of chastisements, 
for such a spirit is not mine.' But of Mary, whose 
spirit is the same as that of her Son, we can nevei 
doubt but that she is all-inclined to mercy ; for, as she 
said to Saint Bridget, she is called the Mother of 
mercy, and it was by God's own mercy that she was 
made thus compassionate and sweet towards all : 'I 
am called the mother of mercy, and truly God's mercy 
made me thus merciful.'^ For this reason Mary was 
seen by Saint John clothed with the sun: "And a 
great sign appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with 
the sun.'^ On which words Saint Bernard, turning 
towards the Blessed Virgin, says, ^Thou, O J^ady, hast 
clothed the sun, that is the Eternal Word, with human 
flesh ] but He has clothed thee with His power and 

* This Queen,' continues the same Saint Bernard, 
*is so compassionate aoH benign, that when a sinner, 
whoever he may be, recommends himself to her charity, 
she does not question his merits, or whether he is 
worthy or unworthy to >*e attended to, but she heam 
and succours all /^ * And therefore,' remarks Saint 

* Majon ccevotione orams pro vp^ qaam ego atxueram peuno , r nuyom 
Aihi impetrabta, qoam petere {MbsaDiam. — De Rhet. div. o. 18. 

■* NMoitis onjas spiritas «rt'» - -Z>w. ix. 55. _ 

** Ego Tocor ab oninibus Mater pn!^.''ooTdi9B, yere, filia, miaeroordia W 
■Mi feat me misericK rd«7i "B^-.. i. ■', c. 23. 
"" Et signam magDam apparnU in coelo : malier amicta sole. — Apoc zU. L 
** Vestis solem nube, et solo ii>8a vestiris. — Serm. in Sign, Magn. 

* Nod dlscutit merita, sed omnibus sese eaorabilani, gmaibus < ' 
^■■■1 piabet— ^SerM. in Sign. Magn, 

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Idelkert, *Mary is said to be "fair as the moor.''* 
For as the moon enlightens and benefits the lowe^ 
cre^itures on earth, so does Mary enlighten and succour 
the most unworthy sinners/^ And though the moon, 
•ays another writer, receives all its light from the sun, 
yet it works quicker than the sun ; *for what this lattei 
does in a year the moon does in a month.'^ For thw 
reason Saint Anselm says, ' that we often more quickly 
obtain what we ask by calling on the name of Maiy 
than by invoking that of Jesas.'^® On this subject 
Hugo of Saint Victor remarks, that Hhough our sina 
may cause us to fear to approach the Almighty, be- 
cause it is His infinite majesty that we have offended, 
we must never fear to go to Mary, for in her we shall 
find nothing to terrify us. True it is that she is holy, 
ttnmaculate, and the Queen of the world ] but she id 
also of our flesh, and, like us, a child of Adam,'**^ 

*In fine/ says Saint Bernard, 'all that belongs to 
Mary is filled with grace and mercy, for she, as a 
Mother of mercy, has made herself all to all, and out 
of her most abundant charity she has made herself a 
debtor to the wise and the foolish, to the just and 
sinners, and opens to all her compassionate heart, that 
all may receive of the fulness of its treasures.'*^ So 
much so, that as "the devil," according to Saint Peter, 
" goes about seeking whom he may devour,'^ so 
on the other hand, says Bemardine de Bustis, doea 
Mary go about seeking whom she may sav^, and to 
whom she may give life.'*^ 

* Pnlolura ut lana,— Cani. ri. 9. 

^ Pulohra ut luna, quia pnlohram est benefooere indignls.— J^piiC xiHr 

*" Quod sol &cit in anno, luna &oit in mense.— Jbann. a. 8, Otm, Sm mm» 
I L c, 3. 

*^ Velooior est nonnanquam nostra sains, memorato nomioe ^oi, qnam fai 
▼ocato nomine Domini Jesu. — D6 Excel. Virg. cap. y\. 

^ Si pertimesois ad Deam aocedere, respice ad Mariam : non illie inyenif 
qnod timeas ; genas tuum vides. — Spintlli, M. Dtip. c. 30. b. 13. 

^1 Plena omnia pietatis et gratite . . . quae ad earn pertinent . . . Deni 
qae omnibus omnia facta est, sapientibas et insipientibus oimiMMma oha 
ritate debitricem se fecit ; onuiibus miserioordisB sinum aperu^ ot de pleil 
tadine ejus accipiant universi. — Serm. in Sign. Magn, 

** Circuit quserens quem devoret. — Ep. 1 S. Petri. Ap. v. 8. 

* I|Ma semper oirouit, qasBrens oaem aalTet^— iforitU. p. lU. Anu L 

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We Bhoiild fully understand and always bear in 
mind a remark of Saint GermanuS; who says, ^ thai 
the pictection of Mary is greater and more powerful 
than anything of which we can form an idea.'** * How 
h it/ asks another writer, ' that that Lord who under 
the old dispensation was so rigorous in his punish- 
ments, now shows such mercy to persons guilty of far 
greater crimes f ' And he answers, ^ that it is all for 
the love of Mary, and on account of her merits.**^ 'O, 
how long since/ exclaims Saint Pulgentius, 'would the 
world have been destroyed, had not Mary sustained it 
by her powerful intercession !^*^ ' But now,' sayi 
Arnold of Chartres, 'that we have the Son as oui 
mediator with the Eternal Father, and the Mothei 
as a mediatress with the Son, we have full access, 
and can go to Ged with entire confidence and hope 
Sor every good thing. How,' he goes on to say, ' caa 
the Father refuse to hear the Son who shows Him Hia 
side and wounds, the marks of His suiSerings endured 
for sinners j and how can the Son refuse to hear His 
Mother when she shows Him her bosom and the 
breasts that gave him suckf *''^ Saint Peter Ohryso- 
logus says,^ that a gentle maiden having lodged a 
Grod in her womb, asks as its price peace for the 
world, salvation for those who are lost, and life for 
the dead.'*^ ' 0, how many,' exclaims the Abbot of 
Gelles, * who deserved to be condemned by the justice 
of the Son are saved by the mercy of the Mother ? for 
she is God's treasure, and the treasurer of all graces ; 

** PfttrooiDium tunrn mc^tu est quam at intelligentia oomprehendi poMll. 
— I>e Zona Virg. 

^ Qoaure paioit nano mnndo ipse Dens, qui oUm malto his minora peooata 
•orias panivitt Totum hoc lacit propter B. Virvrinem et elat merita. 
PtXbaH. SteU, 1. 11, p. 2, c. 2. * 

^ G<Blum et terra jamdudum missent, si Maria sais preolbof non fostaii" 

^ Securum acoessam jam habet homo ad Denm, nbl mediatorem oaoMi 
fiue Filium habet ante Patrem, et ante Filiam Matrem. Christas nadaiO 
tetere, Patri osteudit latus et Tulneia, Maria Ohristo peetus et abera.— il« 
Lmud. Virg. 

^ ITna paella «!o Denm tai pectoris oapit, reolplt, obleotat hoqpitlo. vl 
Moem teiTit, ooelis gloriam, salatem perditis, yitam mortnlM • • . pio igm 
MMPM extgat pMMioae.— ^Ssnn. alx. 

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and tlins onr salvation is in her Lands, and depenab 
on her.'** Let us, then, always have recourse to this 
compassionate Mother, and confidently hope for sal* 
vation through her intercession ; for she, according to 
the encouraging assurance of Bemardine de Bostis, ^is 
our salvation, our life, our hope, our counsel, our re* 
fhge, our help.'^ ' Mary,' says Saint Antoninus,^^ ' is 
that throne of grace to which the Apostle Saint Paul, 
in his epistle to the Hebrews, exhorts us to fly with 
confidence, that we may obtain the Divine mercy, and 
all the help we need for our salvation :' ^' Let us there- 
fore go with confidence to the throne of grace : that 
we may obtain mercy, and find grace in seasonable 
aid."^ < r^Q ^]jQ throne of grace, that is to Mary,' says 
Saint Antoninus j and for this reason Saint Catharine 
of Sienna called Mary 'the dispenser of Divine 
mercy .'**^ 

Let us conclude with the beautiful and tender ex- 
clamation of Saint Bonaventure on these words, ' O 
clement, pious, sweet Virgin Mary ! ' '0 Mary,- 
thou art clement with the miserable, compassionate to- 
wards those who pray to thee, sweet towards those who 
love thee ; clement with the penitent, compassionate to 
those who advance, sweet to the perfect. Thou showest 
thyself clement in delivering us from chastis^^ment, com- 
passionate' in bestowing graces, and sw^ef m giving 
thyself to those who seek thee.^ 

^ Smp9 qnos Jastitia Filii potest damnare, Matrii mlseriooidia Hbent, 
^aia thesannis Domini est, et thesauraria gratiaram ipeios. . . .quia Mdot 
nostra in manibos illius est. — Prol. in Virg. 

** HsBC est nostra salus, vita, spes, consiliiun, refugiam, aiudliiiiii noftnuB. 

P. i. Strm. 6 de Com. Mar, 

« P. 4, 1. 15, o. 14, § 7. 

*> Adeamos ergo cuna fidacia ad thronnm gratits, at miserioordam cen w 
^uamiir, et gratiam inyeniamus in auxilio opportuno. — Hebr. iv. 16. 

SB Administratrix misericordise. — Or. in Annunt 

**Oelemens indigentibos I O pia exoranti&usi O dalois diligentibntl O 
tfmnens pssnitentibiu I O pia pruficientibus I O dulnis contemplantibot I O 
•Ismeot labotandol O pia larfiendo 1 O daloif t^doncodol- " "'"^ 

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O PIOUS. t3i 


Father Charles Bovio** relates, that in the prind 
-pality of Dombes, in France, there was a married man 
whose wife was jealous of another woman, and did 
nothing but call down both on h«r husband and th« 
woman the judgments of God ; and this she did espe ' 
ciallv one day that she went before an altar of the 
Blessed Virgin to pray for justice against this woman. 
The woman, however, was in the habit of going every 
day to recite a " Hail Mary,'' before the same image. 
One night the Divine Mother appeared in a dream to 
the wife, who, on seeing her, began as usual to exclaim, 
' Justice, O Mother of God, justice ! ' But our Blessed 
Lady replied : 'Justice! chastisements! dost thou seek 
them of me i No, go to others, for I will not grant 
what thou askestj for know,' she added, 'that that 
sinner recites every day a salutation in my honour, and 
by whomsoever it is recited, it deprives me of the power 
of allowing him to suffer or to be chastised for his sins.' 
In the morning the wife went to hear Mass in the 
above-named church of our Blessed Lady, and on re- 
turning home met this woman, and immediately began 
to abuse her, and then declared that she was a witch, 
and that she had succeeded even in .enchanting the 
Blessed Virgin herself. The people who were present 
..old her to hold her tongue. ' Be silent ! indeed, I will 
not, for what I say is true ; for last night our Blessed 
Lady appeared to me, and when I demanded justice, 
she told me that she could not grant it on account of 
a salutation offered her every day by this wretch.' The 
woman was then asked what salutation it was that she 
offered every day to the Mother of God, and she re- 
plied that it was the ' Hail Maiy.' On hearing that 
for that ti-ifling devotion the Blessed Virgin had shown 
her such mercy, she went and cast herself before the 
holy image, and there, in the presence of all, she asked 
pardon for the scandal she had given, and m^e a \o% 

V^Bla. f Bir. p. S, «•. 98» 

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of perpetual chastity. She then clothed herself with 
the haldt of a nun. built herself a little r(»om near the 
church} and there remained until her death^ leading a 
life of continual mortification and penance. 


O Mother of mercy^ since thou ait so compasdonate^ 
and hast so great a desire to render service to us poor 
creatures and to grant our requests, behold I, the most 
miserable of all men, have now recourse to thy compaS" 
sion, in order that thou mayest grant me that which I 
dsk. Others may ask what they please of thee, — ^bodily 
health, and earthly goods and advantages j but I come, 
O Lady, to ask thee for that which thou desirest of me, 
and which is most in conformity with and agreeable to 
thy most sacred heart. Thou art so humble j obtain for 
me humility and love of contempt. Thou wast so pa- 
tient under the sufferings of this life ; obtain for me 
patience in trials. Thou wast all filled with the love 
of God ; obtain for me the gift of His pure and holy 
love. Thou wast all love towards thy neighbour ; ob- 
tain forme charity towards all, and particularly towards 
those who are in any way my enemies. Thou wast en- 
tirely united to the Divine will ; obtain for me entire 
conformity with the will of God in whatever way He 
may be pleased to dispose of me. Thou, in fine, art the 
most holy of all creatures 5 Mary, make me a saint. 
Love for me is not wanting on thy part ; thou canst do 
all, and thou hast Jhe will to obtain me all. The only ' 
thing, then, that can prevent me from receiving thy 
graces is, either neglect on my part in having recoiurte 
to thee, or little confidence in thy intercession ; but these 
two things thou must obtain for me. These two greatest 
graces I ask fi-om thee; from thee I must obtain them; 
from thee I hope for them with the greatest confidence, 
O Mary, my Mother Mary, my hope, my love, my life, 
my refuge, my help, and my consolation. Ainen. 

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<y fhe sweetness qf the name of Mary during Hift 
at death. 

The great name of Mary, which was given to the Di 
vine Mother, did not come to her from her parents, nor 
was it given to her by the mind or will of man, as is 
the case with all other names that are imposed in this 
world J but it came from heaven, and was given her by 
a divine ordinance. This is attested by Saint Jerome,* 
Saint Epiphanius,^ Saint Antoninus,^ and others. 
* The name of JVIary came from the treasury of the Di 
vinity,'* says Saint Peter Damian. Ah, yes, Mary^ 
it was from that treasury that thy high and admirable 
name came forth ; for the most Blessed Trinity, say* 
Riphard of Saint Lawrence, bestowed on thee a name 
above every other name after that of thy Son, and en- 
nobled it with such majesty and power, that He willed 
that all heaven, earth, and hell, on only hearing it, 
should fall down and venerate it ; but I will give the 
ituthor's own words: *The whole Trinity, O Mary, 
gave thee a name after that of thy Son above every 
other name, that in thy name every knee should bow, 
of things in heaven, on earth, and under the earth/' But 
amongst the other privileges of the name of Mary, and 
which were given to it by God, we will now examine 

' De Nat. S.M. 

• Oratio de Praes. Deip. 

• P. i. Hiat tit 4. o. 6. t 10. 

^ De theMturo diyinitatis Mari» nomen eyolvitnr.— Tom. ii. S/ttrm, 11 4f 
JUimimt.B. V. 

• Dedit eniin ei tota Trinitas nomen qood est snper omne nomen, poil 
somen Filii soi ; nt in nomine ejns omne genu flectatur . . . Milettiaiii, tar 
IHtriniii, »* inferaorom.— i>e Laud, Virg, lib. L cap. ii. 

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td4 o SWEET yraai]^ ilAMt. 

that of the peculiar sweetness found in it ly tlie set 
vants of this most holy Lady during life and in death 

And iji the first place, speaking of the course of om 
life, the holy anchoret Honorius used to say, that ^ this 
name of Mary is filled with every sweetness and divine 
savour ]^ so much so, that the glorious Saint Anthony 
of Padua found the same sweetness in the name of Maiy 
that Saint Bernard found in that of Jesus. * Name oi 
Jesus !' exclaimed the one. ' name of Mary !' replied 
the other; ^joy in the heart, honey in the mouth, 
melody to the ear of her devout clients."^ It is narrated 
in the life of the Ven. Father Juvenal Ancina, Bishop 
of Saluzzo, that in pronouncing the name of Mary he 
tasted so great and sensible a sweetness, that, after doing 
so, he licked his lips. We read also that a lady at 
Cologne told the Bishop Massilius, that as often as she 
uttered the name of Mary she experienced a taste far 
sweeter than honey. The Bishop imitated her, and ex- 
perienced the same thing.* We gather from the sacred 
Canticles, that on the Assumption of pur Blessed Lady, 
the angels asked her name three times. " Who is she 
that goeth up by the desert as a pillar of smoke f® 
again, " Who is she that cometh forth as the morning 
rising P^^ and again, " Who is this that cometh up from 
the desert, flowing with delights f '^^ ' And why,' says 
Kichard of Saint Lawrence, * do the angels so often ask 
the name of their Quee^.f He answers, * that it was 
80 sweet even to the angels to hear it pronounced, that 
they desired to hear that sweet name in reply." 

But here I do not intend to speak of that sensible 
•weetness, for it is not granted to all ; I speak of that 

[ * Hoc nom«a MariiB pleonm est oxnni daloedine luaTitate divine.«^4f^ 
Zmt. Trit. Mar. 1. 2. m 13. 

^Nomen Maria& jubiliiu in corde, mel in ore, in aore meloi.— Dpm. 3 Qftmir* 

• CMarioB, Dial. L 7. o. 50. 

* Qiue est ista, qua asceii^ per deflertom, sicat virgola ftuoif— Oton^ 

^ 1* Qiue est ista, qa» progreditur qnasi aurora consurgens f— 75. tL ft. 
11 QoflB estHsta, quae ascendit de deaerto, deliciis affluenst— it *^L ^. 
1* Foraitan qv a loloe nomen fibi deffiderant reqwndeii.— i>i Ltr^i Fiipk 

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Lilntary sweetness of consolatior , of love, of joy, of oon 
fidence,of strength, which the name of Mary ordinarily 
brings to those who pronounce it with devotion. The 
Abbot iVancone, speaking on this subject, says, ^ there 
is no other name after that of the Son, in heaven or ou 
earth, whence pious minds derive so much grace, hope, 
and sweetness.'^^ After the most sacred name of Jesus, 
the name of Mary is so rich in every good thing, that 
on earth and in heaven there is no other from which 
devout souls receive so much grace, hope, and sweet- 
ness. ^ For,' he continues, ' there is something so ad- 
mirable, sweet, and divine in this name of Mary, that 
when it meets with friendly hearts it breathes into them 
on odour of delightful sweetness.' And he adds, in 
conclusion, ' that the wonder of this great name is, 
that if heard by the lovers of Mary a thousand times, 
it is always heard again with renewed pleasure, for they 
always experience the same sweetness each tune it is 

The Blessed Henry Suso,^ also speaking of this 
sweetness, says, ^ that when he named Mary, he felt 
himself so excited to confidence, and inflamed with 
such love and joy, that between the tears and joy with 
which he pronounced the beloved name, he desired that 
his heart might leave his breast ; for he declared that 
this most sweet name was like a honeycomb dissolving 
in the inmost recess of the soul f and then he would 
exclaim : ^ most sweet name I Mary, what must 
thou thyself be, since thy name alone is thus amiable 
and gracious ! ' 

The enamoured Saint Bernard, raising his heart to 
bis good Mother, says with tenderness, ' great I O 

» Neqne enim, poet Iliad fingralari dlleeti FIlii sal nomen, qaod €•! somt 
omne nomen, aliud nomen ocBlam aat terra nomhiat, onde tantam gratia^ 
tentam gpei, tantam soaTitatis, tantom oontolationii pto mentet MOMpiaiit 
-De CIrat. Nov, Test. lib. vi. 

^* Nomen namqae MarisB, miram qaid soare atqae dlyinam in m eon* 
dnet, at com lonoerit amioii cordibus, amio» laaTitatia od^rom fpirtt. 
nirom illad est de nomine Maris, et valde ndnm i at milUei f-'*^ 
•tmper aodiator quasi noTom^— i&. 

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pious ! thou who art worthy of all praise ! most 
Holy Virgin Mary ! Thy name is so sweet and amiable^ 
that it cannot be pronounced without inflaming those 
who do so with love towards thee and God. It only 
need occur to the thought of thy lovers to move them 
to love thee more, and to console them/ ' Thou canst 
not be named without* inflaming ; thou canst not be 
thought of by those who love thee without filling 
their minds with joy.^^ ' And if riches comfort the 

Cr, because they relieve them in their distress, O 
7 much more does thy name, Mary,' says Richard 
of Saint Lawrence, ' conifort us than any eai*thly riches ! 
It comforts us in the anguishes of this life.' 'Thy 
name, O Mary, is far better than riches, because it can 
better relievo poverty.'^"' In fine, ' thy name, O Mothei 
of God, is filled with divine graces and blessings,'^* aa 
Saint Methodius says. So much so, that Saint Bona' 
venture declares, * that thy name, O Mary, cannot be 
pronounced without bringing some grace to him who 
does so devoutly.'^' The blessed Raymond Jordan© 
eays, 'that however hardened and dSffident a heart 
may be, the name of this most Blessed Virgin has such 
efiicacy, that if it is only pronounced, that heart will 
be Wonderfully softened.' I will, however, give his 
own words. * The power of thy most holy name, O 
ever-blessed Virgin Mary, is such that it softens the 
hardness of the human heart in a wonderful manner.' 
He then tells us that it is she who leads sinners to the 
hope of pardon and grace : ' By thee does the sinner 
recover the hope of forgiveness and of graoe.'^ ' Thy 

>* O pia, O magrna, O mnltnm landabilis Maria : ta neo nomiflari <_ 
'potefl quin aooendas, neo oogitari qain reorees affeotus diligentioin 
2>epr. e$ Laus. ad B. V. M. 

" MarUe ntimen longe melins qaam diyitto oorporalet, quia meliuM «i 
foitiaiD releTat paupertatis. — De Laud. Virg. lib. i. cap. 2. 

1* Tnum, Dei genitrix, nomen divinis benediotionibos et grataf •x omai 
parte refertum. — Or, de Sim. et Anna. 

1* Nomen tuum . . . devote nominari non potest dne oomiiiantit atfll 
tete.— .SSpec B. M. V. leci iz. 

" Tanta est yirtus tui sacratiMimi nominis, O sempei benediota V\t§% 
Ifana, qn3dmirabiliteremollit et penetratdurttiam oordishamaid . . . pM* 
••tar per ta retpirat in ipe Tenia el giatis.— in ConUm^ B, V. mp. T» 

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most sweet name, Mtury/ according to St. Ambrose, 
' is a precious ointment, which breathes forth the odour 
of divine grace/ The Saint then pray€ to the Divine 
Mother, saying : * Let this ointment of salvation enter 
the inmost recesses of our souls :^^ that is, giant, O 
Lady, that we may often remember to name thee with 
love and confidence ; for this practice either shows the 
possession of divine grace, or else is a pledge that we 
^11 soon recover it. 

' And truly it is so, O Maiy ; for the remembrance 
of thy name comforts the afficted, recalls those who 
have erred to the way of salvation, and encourages 
sinners, that they may not abandon themselves to de- 
spair.' It is thus that Landolph of Saxony addresset 
her.^ And Father Palbart says, ' that as Jesus Christ 
by His five wounds, gave a remedy for the evils of the 
world, so also does Mary, by her most holy mune^ 
which is composed of five letters, daily bring pardon 
to sinners.'^ 

For this reason is the holy name of Mary likened 
in the sacred Canticles to oil : " Thy name is as oil 
poured out.''^ On these words blessed Alan says^ 
^ that the glory of her name is compared to oil poured 
out; because oil heals the sick, sends out a sweet 
odour, and nourishes flames.^ Thus also does the 
name of Mary heal sinners, rejv ice hearts, and inflame 
them with divine love. Hence Richard of Saint Law- 
rence ' encourages sinners4o have recourse to this great 
name,' because it alone will suffice to cure them of all 
their evils; and 'there is no disorder, however ma- 

*^ Vnguentam . . . nomen tuam; desoendat istad nn^entam in ima 
imcordia visceramque seoretaquo non delioiarum odores sanota Maria, m4 
iirinaB fcmtiaa spiramenta redolebat* — De ItutiL Virg, o. 13. 

^ O Maria, tui reoordatio nominis melle da]<ror, neotare snaTior, fNMM 
feoreat, moestos laetifioat, oppresaos relevat, errantes ad viam salutis revooal 
•t peooatores, ne desperent^ 8a» suaTitatis odere ooofbrtat.— Jn vito Ohri$H^ 
p. 11. cap. 86. 

" Sio Maria sno sanotismmo nomine, qaod qainqae litterlB oonita^ ooa* 
fert quotidie veniam pecoatoribus. — Stellar. 1. 6, p. 1, a. 8. 

•• Gleam effusam nomen tuum. — Cant. L 3. 

** GHuria nominis eju* oleo effkuo comparator. Okom ajgrotHiteiB IMI^ 
•Aoian paraty flammam natrit.— in CanLi, 

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lignant, that does not immediately yield to ihe powet 
of the name of Maiy.'^ 

On the other band, Thomas a Kempis affirms, ^ that 
the devils fear the Queen of Heaven to such a degree, 
that on only hearing her great name pronoonced, they 
fly from him who does so as from a burning fire,* 
The- Blessed Virgin herself revealed to Saint Bridget 
' that there is not on earth a siamer, however devoid he 
may be of the love of God, from whom the devil is not 
obliged immediately to fly, if he invokes her holy name 
with a determination to repent.'^ On another occasion 
she repeated the same thing to the Saint, saying, ' that 
all the devils venerate and fear her name to snch a de- 
gree, that on hearing it they immediately loosen the 
claws with which they hold the soul captive.*^ 

Our Blessed Lady also told Saint Bridget, * that in 
the same way as the rebel angels fly from sinners who 
invoke the name of Mary, so also do the good angels 
approach nearer to just souls who pronounce her name 
with devotion.'^ Saint Germanus declares, * that as 
breathing is a sign of life, so also is the frequent pro- 
nunciation of the name of Mary a sign either of the 
life of divine grace, or that it will soon come 5 for this 
powerful name has in it the virtue of obtaining help 
and life for him who invokes it devoutly.' Addressing 
the Blessed Virgin, he says, ' As breathing is a sign of 
life in the body, so is the frequent repetition of thy 
most holy name, Virgin, by thy servants, not only 9 
sign of Hfe and of strength, but also it procures and 

^ Peooator es, ad MarisB nomen ponftigias. Ipsnm solam snffioit ad m6 
dendum : nam pestis tarn eflScax nulla alo haret, qcue ad nomen Maxim Wk 
eedat oontinao. — De Land. Virg, lib. i. cap. 2. 

" Ezpavescant cceli reginam spiritas maligni, et difftigiant andito noadM 
ejus, velut ab igne. — Serm, iv. ad Nor, 

* Nallns et'am tarn frigidus ab amore Dei est, nisi sit damnatos, ft isTO' 
carerit hoc nomen, hac intentione, nt nanquam reverti velit ad opus solitnm, 
qaod non discedat ab eo statim diabolos. — Eev. lib. L cap. 9. 

** Omnes dsemones verentur hoc nomen, et timent. Qoi andientes bov 
somen Marias, statim relinqumit animam de ongoibas, qnibiu tenebanleaaa. 
— i&. 

^ Angen atSam boa!, andito boo nomine, ftatim appiopinqaMit w||f 

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o swfixt viBGnr mabt. 2dif 

6aaciliates both.^ In fine, * TWs admirable name ol 
OUT Sovereign Lady/ says Richard of Saint LawreneOi 
* is like a fortified tower, in whiwli, if a sinner takes 
refuge, he will be delivered from death ^ for it defends 
and saves even the most abandoned.^ But it is a tower 
of strength, which not only delivers sinners from ohaa- 
tisement, but also defends the just from the assaults of 
hell. Thus the same Richard says, ' that after the name 
of Jesus, there is no other in which men find such power- 
ful assistance and salvation as in the great name of 
Mary.'^ He says, ' there is not such powerful help in 
any name, nor is there any other name given to men, 
after that of Jesus, from which so much salvation is 
pomed forth upon men as from the name of Mary.' 
Moreover, it is well known, and is daily experienced 
by the clients of Mary, that her powerful name gives 
the particular strength necessary to overcome tempta- 
tions against purity. The same author in his com- 
mentary on the words of St. Luke, " and the Virgin's 
name was Mary,"^ remarks that these two words, Mary 
and Virgin, are joined together by the Evangelist, to 
denote that the name of this most pure Virgin should 
always be coupled with the virtue of chastity.'^ Hence 
Saint Peter Chrysologus says, Hhat the name of Mary 
18 an indication of chastity ;'^ meaning, that when we 
doubt as to whether we have consented to thoughts 
against this virtue, if we remember having invoked the 
name of Mary, we have a certain proof that we have 
not sinned. 

*^ Qnomodo enim corpus nostram vitalis tfignam operatioaii habet rmpi- 
rationem, ita etiam sanctissimuin taum nomen, quod in ore servorum tQoraai 
▼enatur assidue, in omni tempore, loco, et modo, vitse, IsBtitise, et auziltt 
Don solum est signum, sed ea etiam proonrat et conciliat. — De Zona Virg. 

* Turrisfortissima nomen Dominse: ad ipsam oonfugiet peooator in t«B- 
tatione, et etiam qui peccavit, et salvabitnr. Hsbo defendit qnotlibet, ftt 
^uaDtamlibet peccatores. — De Laud. Virg. lib. i. cap. 2. 

* Non est in aliquo alio nomine, po«t nomen Filii, tarn poteni Bii^ 

««(rium, nee est aliquod nomen sub ccelo datum hominibus, post doloe i 
Jmo, ex quo tauta salus refundatur hominibus. — Jh, 

** £t nomen Virginis Maria. — £uc. L 27. 
** Komini MarisB yirginitas et sanctitas Inseparabiliter sant i 
Pt Land. F. lib. L cap. ii. 
'^ Bmmb hoo. . . .jodkiiim oMtltatii.* iSSinik ozl¥i. 

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Let us, therefore, always take advantage of tlie 
beautiful advice given us by Saint Bernard, in these 
words : ' In dangers, in perplexities, in doubtful cases, 
think of Mary, call on Mary ; let her not leave thy lips; 
let her not depart from, thy heart.'^ In every danger 
of forfeiting divine grace, we should think of Mary, 
and invoke her name, together with that of Jesus ; for 
these two names always go together. 0, then, never let 
us permit these two most sweet names to leave our 
hearts, or be off our lips ; for they will give us strength 
not only not to yield, but to conquer all our tempta- 
tions. Consoling indeed are the promises of help made 
by Jesus Christ to those who have devotion to the name 
of Mary ; for one day, in the hearing of Saint Bridget, 
He promised His most holy Mother that He would 
grant three special graces to those who invoke that holy 
name with confidence : first, that He would grant them 
perfect sorrow for their sins } second, that their crimes 
should be atoned for; and, thirdly, strength to attain 
perfection, and at length tie glory of paradise.^ And 
then our Divine Saviour added : ' For thy words, 
my Mother, are so sweet and agreeable to Me, that I 
cannot deny what thou askest.'^ 

Saint Ephrem goes so far as to say, ' that the name 
of Mary is tha key of the gates of heaven,'*® in the 
hands of those who devoutly invoke it. And thus it 
is not without reason that Saint Bouaventure says 
' that Mary is the salvation of all who call upon her :' 
for he addresses her, saying : '0 salvation of all who 
invoke thee !'*^ meaning, that to obtain eternal salva- 
tion and invoke her name are synonymous 5 and Richard 

"^ In perioQlis, in angnstiis, in rebng dabiis, Mariam oogita, Mariam iB> 
Toea. Non reoedat ab ore, non reoedat a corde. — Hem. it. sup. Miss. 

■» Habitatores mnndi indigent tribua : primo, contritione pro pecoatis , 
Moundo, satisfoctione ; tertio, fortitudine ad faciendum bona...Omn!i 
qnicumque invocaverit noraen tunm, et spem habet in te, cum proposito 
emendanui commissa, ista tria dabuntur el, insuper et regnum cceleste.— 
Lib. i. Bev. cap. 50. 

** Tanta enim est mihi duloedo in verbis tuis, nt non possim negare qui 

** Ave portaram coelestis paradlsi reteramentam.— iSrrm. dt Laud, B, VJL 

P O Mlw to iBTOoantiiiin I 

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of Saint Lawrence affirms, 'that the devout invooatiioii 
of this sweet and holy name leads to the acquisition of 
superabundant graces in this life, and a very high de- 
gree of glory in the next.'*^ 'If then, O brethren,' 
concludes Thomas k Kempis, 'you desire consolation 
in every labour, have recourse to Mary j invoke the 
name of Mary, honour Mary, recommend yourselves to 
Mary, rejoice with Mary, weep with Mary, pray with 
Mary, walk with Mary, seek Jesus with Mary ; in fine, 
desire to live and die with Jesus and Mary. By act- 
ing thus you will always advance in the ways of God, 
for Mary will most willingly pray for you, and the 
Son will most certainly grant all that His Mother 

Thus we see that the most holy name of Mary is 
sweet indeed to her clients during life, on account of 
the very great graces she obtains for them. But sweeter 
still will it be to them in death, on account of the 
tranquil and holy end that it will insure them. Father 
Sertorius Caputo exhorted all who assist the dying, 
frequently to pronounce the name of Mary ; for this 
name of life and hope, when repeated at the hour of 
death, suffices to put the devils to ffight, and to com- 
fort such persons in their sufferings. Saint Oamillus of 
Lellis also recommended his religious, in the strongest 
terms, to remind the dying frequently to invoke the 
uames of Jesus and Mary. This was his own custom 
when attending others ; but 0, how sweetly did he 
practise it himself on his death-bed, for then he pro- 
nounced the beloved names of Jesus and Mary with 
Buch tenderness, that he inflamed even those who heard 

^ Derota . . . inrocatio et recordatio nominis ejus dncit ad Tirorem 
giatijB in prasenti, ad viiorem osBlestium in futaro. — De Laud. V. lib. L 
cap. 2. 

** Si conBolaii in omni tribulatione qusBiitis, acoedite ad Mariam. . . 
Kariam inyocate, Mariam salutate, Mariam cogitate, Mariam nominate, 
Hariam honorate, Mariam semper glorificate, Marias inoliaatef Marin vof 
Gommendate . . . cum Maria gaudete, cum Maria dolete . . . cum Maria 
orate . . . cum Maria ambulate . . . cum Maria Jesum qnsrite . . cum 
Haria et Jesu vivere et mori desiderate. Fratres, si ista bene cogitatii el 
•xeroetis...iNK>fioietiB. Maria libenter proYobis Jewi libeiltf 
Matreio ■oam exaadiet.— ^erm. iL ad Ncv» «• 

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him with love, and at length, with his eyes fixed on 
their venerated images, and his arms in the form of a 
cross, the Saint breathed forth his sonl with an lur of 
holiness and in the midst of heavenly peace, and in the 
very moment that he was pronouncing those sweet 
names. ' The invocation of the sacred names of Jesoi 
and Mary*,^ says Thomas k Kempis, ' is a short prayer^ 
which is as sweet to the mind, and as powerful to pro- 
tect those who use it against the enemies of their salva- 
tion, as it is easy to remember.'** 

' Blessed is the man who loves thy name, O Mary,'** 
exclaims Saint Bonaventure. ' Yes, truly blessed is he 
who loves thy sweet name, O Mother of God ! for,' he 
continues, ^ thy name is so glorious and admirable, that 
no one who remembers it has any fears at the hour of 
death.**** Such is its power, that none of those who 
invoke it at the hour of death fear the assaults of their 

O, that we may end our lives as did the Capuchin 
father, Fulgentius of Ascoli, who expired singing, ^ 
Mary, O Mary, the most beautiful of creatures ! let us 
depart together/ or like blessed Henry the Cistercian, 
who expired in the very moment that he was pronounc- 
ing the most sweet name of Mary. Let us then, de- 
vout reader, beg God to grant us, that at death the name 
of Mary may be the last word on our lips. This was 
the prayer of Saint Germanus: *May the last move- 
ment of my tongae be to pronounce the name of the 
Mother of God I'*'' sweet, O safe is that death which 
is accompanied and protected by such a saving name ; 
for God only grants the ^ace of invoking it .to those 
whom He is about to save. 

my sweet Lady and Mother, I love thee much, 

^ H»o saneta oratio, Jesus et Maria, breves est ad legeudum . . . flurfllf 
■d ^«nendam, dulois ad cogitandam, fortis ad protegendom. — VaU, LiL cap. 

^ Beatos vir qui dilip^t nomen tnam, Maria Virgo. — In J*s. i. S. V. M» 

^ Gloriosam et admirabUe est nomen taom ; qui illnd retinent, non az* 
p«Tesoent inanoto mortis. — Pt. ox. B. M. V, 

^ Idem Del Matris nomen sit mihi oltiiBiu liairna loqoentii i 
J m m n t S. Jki» Gm. Orat 

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ttid becaase I love tbee I also love thy holy nam?. I 
porpoBe Skhd hope, with thy assistance, always to invoke 
it daring life and at death. And to conclude with the 
tender prayer of Saint Bonaventnre : ^ I ask thee, 
Mary, for the glory of thy name, to come and meet my 
■cml when it is departing &om this world, and to take 
ft in thine arms.'^ * Disdain not, Mary,' the Samt 
continues, ' to come then and comfort me with thy pres- 
ence. Be thyself my soul's ladder and way to heaven. 
Do then thyself obtain for it the grace of for^veness 
and eternal repose.^^ He then concludes saymg, * O 
Mary, our advocate, it is for thee to defend thy clients, 
and to undertake their cause before the tribunal of 
Jesus Christ.'^ 


Father Rho, and also Father Lyraeus" relate, that 
in Gelderland, about the year 1465, there was a young 
woman named Mary, who was one day sent by hei 
nncle to the city of Nymegen to market. He desired 
her to purchase different things, and to spend the night 
with an aunt who dwelt there. The girl executed the 
commissions ; but in the evening, on presenting herself 
at her aunt's house, she was refused admittance, and 
obliged to make the best of her way home. Night came 
on whilst she was on the road, and in a great passion 
Bhe called on the devil with a loud voice to assist hei. 
She had scarcely done so when he appeared to her 
under the form of a man, and promised to help her 
provided she would do one thing. ' I will do any- 
thing,' replied the unfortunate creature. ' All that I 
require,' said the enemy, ' is, that you should no longei 

^ la ezita animsB men de hoc mando, oooarre ilU Domlna, et faMolpt 
Mm.— P«. oxiii. B. M. V. 

^ Conaolare earn valta micto tao ; aspeotos d»inonl8 non tarbet Ulam j 
Mlo llli scala ad regnum ooeloram, et iter reotam ad paradltum Dei. Im- 
pttra ei a Patre indalgentiam pacis, et «ed«in lucit inter servoi DeL— 7&. 

** Saatine devotos ante tribunal Cbrifti ; •uioipe oaaaani eomm ia " 


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make tbe sign of the cross, and that you should change 
jronr name.' * As to the sign of the cross/ said the 
girl, * I will no more make it ; but my name of Mary is 
too dear to me, I will never change it.' * Then I will 
not help you,' said the devil. At length, after much 
disputing, it was agreed that she should be called by 
the first letter of the name of Mary, that is Emme. On 
this arrangement they started for Antwerp, and there 
the poor wretch remained with this wicked companion 
for seven years, leading a most shameful life, and a scan- 
dal to all. One day she told the devil she wished to 
see her country once more ; the enemy opposed it, but 
was at length obliged to yield. On entering Nymegen, 
they found that a theatrical piece was being performed, 
representing the life of the Blessed Virgin. On seeing 
it, the poor Emme began to weep, having still preserved 
a spark of devotion towards the Mother of God. 'What 
are we doing here? ' exclaimed her companion. 'Are 
we also to act a comedy V And, at the same time, he 
endtsavoured to drive her from the place. She resisted; 
but he, seeing that he was already losing her, in a 
passion, raised her in the air, and cast her to the ground 
in the midst of the theatre. The poor creature then 
related all that had happened. She went to confession 
io the parish priest, but he sent her to the Bishop oi 
Cologne ; and the Bishop referred her to the Pope, who, 
after having heard her confession, imposed on her a» 
a penance, that she should always wear three circlets 
of iron, one round her neck and two round her arms. 
The penitent obeyed, and on reaching Maestricht she 
shut herself up in a convent of penitents, and lived 
there for fourteen years in the exercise of the most 
rigorous mortification. One morning, on rising from 
her bed, she found that the three circlets had broken of 
their own accord ; and two years afterwaids she died 
in the odour of sanctity, and desired to be buried with 
those three circlets of iron, which, from beinff a idave 
of hell, had transformed her into a happy captive of her 

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O ffreat Mother of Gk)d and my Mother Maiy, it ig 
tme tnat I am unworthy to name thee ; but thon, who 
lovest me and desirest my salvation, must, notwith- 
standmg the impurity of my tongue, grant that I may 
always invoke thy most holy and poweifol name in 
my aid, for thy name is the succour of the living, and 
the salvation of the dying. Ah, most pure Mary, most 
sweet Mary, grant that from henceforth thy name may 
be the breath of my life. O Lady, delay not to help 
me when I invoke thee, for in all the temptations which 
assail me, and in all my wants, I will never cease calling 
apon thee, and repeating again and again, Mary, Maiy. 
Thus it is that I hope to act during my life, and more 
particularly at death, that after that last struggle I 
may eternally praise thy beloved name in heaven, O 
clement, pious, sweet Virgin Mary. Ah, Mary, 
most amiable Mary, with what consolation, what sweet- 
ness, what confidence, what tenderness, is my soul 
rmetrated in only naming, in only thinking of thee I 
thauk my Lord and Grod, who, for my good, has givea 
thee a name so sweet and deserving of love, and at the 
same time so powerful 

But, my sovereign Lady, I am not satisfied with 
only naming thee, I wish to name thee with love : I 
desire that my love may every hour remind me to call 
on thee, so that I may be able to exclaim with Saint 
fionaventure, ' O name of the Mother of Gh>d, thou art 
my love.'^ 

My own dear Mary, my beloved Jesus, may your 
most sweet names reign in my heart, and in all hearts 
Grant that I may forget all others to remember, and 
always invoke, your adorable names alone. Ah I 
Jesus my Redeemer, and my Mother Mary, when the 
moment of death comes, in which I must breathe forth 

■ O MMT M«i BOBM MMrii I>4..H8IMn. ^M. p^ % «i«b 14 

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my soul and leave this world, deign, thnragli youi 
merits, to grant that I may then pronounce my last 
words, and that they may be, ^Ilove thee, Jesus; 1 
love theCf Maryi ) to you dc I give my heart and my 

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The following Prayers are put here, not only that they 
may be used, but also that they may show the high 
idea that the Saints had of the power and mercy ot 
Mary, and the great confidence they had in her pat- 


immaculate and entirely-pure Virgin Mary, Mo- 
ther of God, Queen of the Universe, our own good 
Lady J thou art above all the Saints, the only hope 
of the Patriarchs, and the joy of the Saints. Through 
thee we have been reconciled with our God. Thou art 
the only advocate of sinners, and the secure haven of 
those who ai*e sailing on the sea of this life. Thou 
art the consolation of the world, the ransom of cap- 
tives, the joy of the sick, the comfort of the afflicted, 
the refuge, the salvation of the whole world. great 
Princess, Mother of God, cover us with the wings of 
thy mercy, and pity us. No other hope but thee is 
given us, O most pure Virgin. We are given to thee, 
and consecrated to thy service ; we bear the name of 
thy servants. 0, then, permit not that Lucifer should 
drag U8 to he^l. immaculate Virgin, we are nndes 

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thy protection, and therefore we have recourse to thee 
alone ; and we beseech thee to prevent thy beloved 
Son, who is irritated by our sins, from abandoning us 
to the power of the devil. 

O thou who art full of grace, enlighten my ander- 
■tanding, loosen my tongue, that it may sing thy 
pmises ; and more particularly the angelic Salutation, 
80 worthy of thee. I salute thee, peace, joy, 
consolation of the whole world. I salute thee, great- 
' est of miracles, paiadise of delights, secure haven of 
those who are in danger, fountain of graces, mediatress 
between God and men.'^ 


We raise our eyes to thee, Queen of the world. 
We must appear before our Judge after so many sins : 
who will appease Him t No one can do it better than 
thou canst, holy Lady, who hast loved Him so much, 
and by whom thou art so tenderly beloved. Open, 
then, O Mother of mercy, the ears of thy heart to our 
sighs and prayers. We fly to thy protection ; appease 
the wrath of thy Son, and restore us to His grace. 
Thou dost not abhor a sinner, however loathsome he 
may be. Thou dost not despise him, if he sighs to 
thee, and, repentant, asks thy intercession. Thou, with 
thy compassionate band, deliverest him from despair. 
Thou animatest him to hope, and dost not leave him 
until thou hast reconciled him with his Judge. Thou 
art that chosen Lady in whom- our Lord foimd repose, 
and in whom He has deposited all His treasures with- 
out measure. Hence the whole world, my most holy 
Lady, honours thy chaste womb as the temple of God, 
in which the salvation of the world began. In thee 
was eflected the reconciliation between God and man.. 
Thou, great Mother of God, art the enclosed garden, 
into which the hand of a sinner never entered to gather 
ha flowers. Thou art the beautiful garden in which 


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ch)d Iiafi planted i^ the flowers that adorn the GhiiTcliy 
and amon^t others the violet of thy hmnility, the lily 
of thy punty, the rose of thy charity. With whom can 
we compare thee, O Mother of grace and beauty t Thou 
art the paradise of Qod; &om thee issued forth the 
fountain of living water that irrigates the whole earth. 
O, how many benefits thou hast bestowed on the world 
by meriting to be so salutary a channel ! 

Of thee it is that the question is asked, " Who is 
she that cometh forth like the morning rising, fair as 
♦he moon, bright as the sun 1^ Thou earnest, then, 
mto the world, Mary, as a resplendent dawn, pre- 
ceding with the light of thy sanctity the coming of the 
Sun of Justice. The day on which thou camest into 
the world can indeed be called a day of salvation, a day 
of grace. Thou art fair as the moon ; for as amongst 
all planets the moon it is which is most like the sun, 
so amongst all creatures thou art the nearest in resem- 
blance to God. The moon illumines the night with 
the light it receives from the sun, and thou enlighten- 
est our darkness with the splendour of thy virtues. But 
thou art fairer than the moon, for in thee there is 
neither spot nor shadow. Thou art bright as the sun ; 
I mean as that Sun which created the sun ; He was 
chosen amongst all men, and thou wast chosen amongst 
all women. sweet, O great, all-amiable Mary, no 
heart can pronounce thy name but thou inflamest it 
with thy love ; nor can they who love thee think of 
thee without feeling themselves strengthened to love 
thee more. 

O holy Lady, help our weakness. And who is 
more fit to address our Lord Jesus Christ than thou, 
who enjoyest in such close vicinity His most sweet con- 
verse t Speak then, speak, Ladyj for thy Son 
listens to thee, and thoa wilt obtam all that tlMV 
■akestof Him.' 


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O my only and sovereign Lady, who art the sole 
consolation that I receive from God, thou who art the 
only celestial dew that gives me refreshment in my 
pains, thou who art the light of my soul when it ia 
surrounded with darkness, thou who art my guide ia 
joumeyings, my strength in weakness, my treasure in 
poverty, the balm of my wounds, my consolation in 
sorrow, thou who art my refuge in miseries and the 
hope of my salvation ; listen to my prayers, have pity 
on me as it becomes the Moth^ of a God who has such 
love for men.* thou who art our defence and joy, 
grant me all that I ask ; make me worthy to enjoy 
with thee that great happiness which thou enjoyest in 
heaven. Yes, my Lady, my refuge, my life, my help, 
my defence, my strength, my joy, my hope, grant that 
T may one day be with thee in heaven. I know that, 
being the Mother of God, thou canst, if thou wilt, ob- 
tain it for me. Mary, thou art omnipotent to save 
sinners, nor needest thou any other recommendation j 
for thou art the Mother of true life.^ 


Draw me after thee, Virgin Mary, that I may 
run to the odour of thy ointments. Draw me, for I 
am held back l»y the weight of my sins and by the 
malice of my enemies. As no one^ goes to thy Son 
unless the heavenly Father draws him, so do I pre- 
sume to say, in a certain manner, that no one goes to 
Him unless thou drawest him by thy holy prayers. It 
is thou who teachest true wisdom, thou who obtainest 
grace for sinners, for thou art their advocate ; it i» 
thou who promisest glory to him who honours thee^ foi 
thou art the treasurer of graces.'^ 

* Enoom. in S. Ddp. * In donn. V. X. |i ft 

* Out of humility he •onuuned hlmielf the Idiot. 
' Ooni do Mi Y. in pioL 

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Thon, most sweet Virgin, hast found grace wifti 
Qodf for thou wast preserved &om the stab of .original 
nn, wast filled with tlie H0I7 Ghost, and didst conceive 
the Son of God. Thou, most humble Virgin, didst 
receive all these graces not for thyself only, but also 
foi us, that thou mightest assist ^is in all our necessities. 
Atid this thou dost indeed ; thou snccourest the good, 
preserving them in grace, and the wicked thou prepar- 
est to receive divine mercy. Thou assistest the dying, 
protecting them against the snares of the devil ; and 
thou helpest them also after death, receiving their souls 
and conducting them to the kingdom of the bleised.' 


Thy name, O Mother of God, is fUled with all graoes 
and divine blessings. Thou hast contained Him who 
cannot be contained, and nourished Him who nourishes 
all creatures. He who fiUs heaven and earth, and is 
Lord of all, was pleased to stand in need of thee, for 
it was thou who didst clothe Him with that flesh which 
He had not before. Rejoice then, Mother^nd hand- 
maid of God J be glad then, with exceeding great joy, 
for thou hast Him for thy debtor who gives their being 
to all creatures. We are all God's debtors, but He is 
% debtor to thee. Hence it is, most holy Mother of 
God, that thou hast greater goodness and greater cha- 
rity than all the other Saints, and hast freer access to 
God than any of them, for thou art His Mother. Ah, 
deign, we beseech thee, to remember us in our miseries^ 
who celebrate thy glories, and know how great is thy 


I salute thee, Mary ; thou art the hope of GhriB- 
tians ; receive the supplication of a sinner who loves 
thee tenderly, honours thee in a special manner, and 
jklaoes in thee the whole hope of his salvation. From 

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tbee I have my life. Thon reinstatest me in the gtwoB 
of thy Son ; thou art the certain pledge of my salva- 
tion. I implore thee, then, deliver me from the bnrdeji 
of my sins, dispel the darkness of my mind, banish 
earthly affections from my heart, repress the temptations 
of my enemies, and so mle my whole life that by thy 
means and under thy guidance I may attain the eter* 
nal happiness of heaven.^^ 


I salute thee, full of grace, our Lord is with thee 
I salute thee, cause of our joy, through whom 
the sentence of our condemnation was revoked and 
changed into one of blessings. I salute thee, O temple 
of the glory of God, sacred dwelling of the King of 
heaven. Thou art the reconciliation of God with men. 
I salute thee, Mother of our joy. Truly thou art 
blessed, for thou alone amongst all women wast found 
worthy to be the Mother of thy Creator. All nations 
call thee Blessed.^ 

O Mary, if I place my confidence in thee, I shall be 
saved j if I am under thy protection, I have nothing 
to fear, for the fact of being thy client is the possession 
of a certainty of salvation, which God only grants to 
those whom he will save. 

Mother of Mercy, appease thy beloved son. Whilst 
thou wast on earth thou didst only occupy a small part 
of it, but now that thou art raised above the highest 
heavens, the whole world considers thee ati the propitia- 
tory of all nations. I implore thee, then, O Holy 
Virgin, to grant me the help of thy prayers with God j 
prayers which are dearer and more precious to us than 
all the treasures of the earth : prayers which render 
God propitious to us in our sins, and obtain us a great 
abundance of graces, both for the pardon of our of* 

«• In Nat V. M. §. 1. ^ 

i> Or of Jeruaalem ; for ft if not known whaQtm U WM QM ptnoa wmim 
Iht two titles, or two different | 
* Jb S. JMp, Jkam, 

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fences and the practice of virtue: prayers which check 
our enemies, confound their designs, and triumph over 
their strength.^ 


I come to thee, O Mother of God, and implore thee 
to obtain me the pardon of my sins, and that I may 
be cleansed from those of my whole life. I beseech 
thee to grant me the grace to unite myself in afiectioD 
with thy son and with thyself: with thy Son as my 
Gh)d, and with thee as the Mother of my Grod.^^ 


Give oar to our prayers, O most Holy Virgin, and be 
mindfal of us. Dispense unto us the gifts of thy 
fiches, and the abundance of the graces with which 
thou art filled. The archangel saluted thee, and 
•ealled thee full of grace. All nations call thee bless- 
ed. The whole hierarchy of heaven blesses thee ; and 
we, who are of the terrestrial hierarchy, also address 
thee, saying. Hail, fall of grace, our Lord is with 
thee : pray for us, O holy Mother of God, our Lady and 
om Queen,^* 


We beseech thee, O Most holy Lady, by the favour 
-that God did thee, in raising thee so high as to make 
all things possible to thee with him, so to act that the 
plenitude of grace, which thou didst merit, may ren- 
der us partakers of thy glory. Strive, most merci- 
ful Lady, to obtain us that for which God was pleased 
to become man in thy chaste womb. O, lend us a will- 
ing ear. If thou deignest to pray to thy Son for this, 
He will immediately grant it. It suffices that thim 
wiliest our salvation, and then we are sure to obtain it. 
Bat who can restrain thy great mercy t If thou, who 

uiiBDorm.S.M.$.S. m pe yi^g. p, S. M. «. 1^ 


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254 IXETOUl? PJ^ATE3». 

art OUT Mother, and the Mother of mercy, dost net pit} 
us, what will become of us when thy Son oomes t« 
judge us ? 

Help us, then, most compassionate Lady, and 
consider not the multitude of oor «ins. Eemembcr 
always that our Greater took human flesh of thee, not 
to condemn sinners, but to save them. If thou hadat 
become Mother of God only for thine own advantage, 
we might say that it signified little to thee whether we 
were lost or saved ; but God clothed Himself with thy 
flesh for thy salvation, and for that of all men. What 
would thy great power and glory avail us, if thou dost 
not make us partakers of thy happiness ? 0, help us, 
then, and protect us : thou knowest how greatly W6 
stand in need of thy assistance. . We recommend our- 
selves to thee ; O, let us not lose our souls, but mske 
us eternally serve and love thy beloved Son, Jesnt 


Hoty Virgin, Mother of God, succour those who 
implore thy aid. O, turn towards us. Hast thou, 
perhaps, forgotten men, because thou hast been raisea 
to so close a union with God ? Ah no, most certainly. 
Thou knowest well in what danger thou didst leave us, 
and the wretched condition of thy servants ; ah no, it 
would not become so great a mercy as thine to forget 
such great misery as ours is. Turn towards us, then, 
with thy power ; for He who is powerful has made 
thee omnipotent in heaven and on earth. Nothing is 
impossible to thee, for thou canst raise even those who 
are in despair to the hope of salvation. The more 
powerful thou art, the greater should be thy mercy. 

Turn also to us in thy love. I know, my Lady, 
that thou art all benign, and that thou lovest us with 
a love that can be surpassed by no other love. How 
often dost thou not appease the wrath of our Judge^ 

>*I>«£zoeU. ViiK. A ISl 

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when He is on the point of chastising us t All the 
treasures of the mercies of God are in thy hands. Ahj 
never cease to benefit us ; thou only seekeet occasion 
to save all the wretched, and to shower thy mercies 
upon thein ,• for thy glory is increased when, by thy 
means, penitents are forgiven, and thus reach heaven. 
Turn, then, towards us, that we also may be able to go 
and see thee in heaven j for the greatest glory we can 
have will be, after seeing God, to see thee, to love thee, 
and be under thy protection. Be pleased, then, to 
grant our prayer 5 for thy beloved Son desires to hon 'if 
thee, by denying thee nothing that thou askest." 


Mother of God, I have recourse to thee, and 1 
call upoQ thee not to reject me 5 for the whole congre- 
gation of the faithful calls and proclaims thee the 
Mother of mercy. Thou art that one who, from being 
so dear to God, art always graciously heard 5 thy clem- 
ency was never wanting to any one ; thy most benign 
' affability never despised any sinner who had reoourse 
to thee, however enormous his crimen. Can it be 
falsely or in vain that the Church calls thee her advo- 
cate, and the refuge of sinners ? Never let it be said 
that my sins could prevent thee from fulfilling the 
great office of mercy, which is peculiarly thine own, by 
which thou art the advocate and mediatress of peace, 
the only hope and most secure refuge of the miserable. 
Never shall it be said that the Mother of God, who 
for the benefit of the world brought forth the Fountaiii 
of Mercy, denied her mercy to any sinner who had re- 
oourse to her. Thine office is that of peacemaker be- 
tween God and men : let, then, the greatness of thy 
compassion, and which far exceeds my sins, more thet 
to help me.^ 

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TBEATDia or 





Dkeownti mi ihejprinei^ FeagU o/Maiy and on Aer So r rowtk 


How becoming it was that each of the Three Divine Per 
sons sJumld preserve Mart/ from Original Sin. 

Obeat indeed was the injury entailed on Adam and 
all liis posterity by his accursed sin ; for at the same 
time that he thereby, for his own great mitjfortune, lost 
grace, he also forfeited all the other precious gifts with 
which he had originally been enriched, and drew down 
upon himself and all his descendants the hatred ejf God 
and an accumulation of evils. But from this general 
misfortune God was pleased to exempt that Blessed 
Virgin whom He had destined to be the Mother olib» 

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Second Adam — Jesus Christ — who was to repair the 
evil done by the first. Now, let us see how becoming 
it was that God, and all the three Divine Persons, 
Bhculd thus preserve her from it; that the Father 
should preserve her as His Daughter, the Son as HU 
Mother, and the Holy Ghost as His Spouse. 

First point — In the first place it was becoming thai 
the Eternal Father should preserve Mary from the stain 
of original sin, because she was His Daughter, and His 
first-born daughter, as she herself declares : " I came 
out of the mouth of the Most High, the first-bom before 
all creatures."^ For this text is applied to Mary by 
sacred interpreters, the holy Fathers, and by the Church 
on the solemnity of her Conception. For be she the 
first-bom inasmuch as she was predestined in the Divine 
decrees, together with the Son, before all creatures, ac- 
cording to the Scotists ; or be she the first-born of 
grace as the predestined Mother of tlie Redeemer, after 
the prevision of sin, according to the Thomists -, never- 
theless all agree in calling her the first-bom of God. 
This being the case, it was quite becoming that Mary 
should never have been the slave of Lucifer, but only 
and always possessed by her Creator ; and this she in 
reality was, as we are assured by herself : " The Lord 
possessed me in the beginning of His ways.''* Henoe 
Denis of Alexandria rightly calls Mary ' the one and 
only daughter of life.'^ She is the one and only daugh- 
ter of life, in contradistinction to others who, being bom 
in sin, are daughters of death. 

Besides this, it was quite becoming that the Eternal 
Father should create her in His grace, since He destined 
her to be the repairer of the lost world, and the media- 
tress of peace between men and God; and, as such she 
is looked upon and spoken of by the holy Fathers, and 
in particular by Saint John Damascen; who thus ad« 

> Ego ex or» Altlsdmi prodiyi, primogeoita ante omnem enal 
Moel, jody. 5. 
' Dominiu poisedit me in initio Tianun soaram. — Prov. yiil. 99L 
* Vm lola Tixgoi filia jlim^-^Mpi^i. conira Pattk Sam* 

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diiesses lier : ' Blessed Virgin, thou wast bom tl«t 
thou mightest minister to the salvation of the whole 
world.'* For this reason Saint Bernard says, ' that 
Noah^s ark was a type of Mary ; for as, by its, mea^s, 
men were preserved from the deluge, so are we all 
saved by Mary from the shipwreck of sin : but with 
the difference, that in the ark few were saved, and by 
M-ary the whole human race was rescued from death. 
Therefore, in a sermon found amongst the works of 
Saint Athanasius, she is called 'the new Eve, and the 
Mother of life f^ and not without reason, for the first 
was the Mother of death, but the most Blessed Virgin 
was the Mother of true life. Saint Theophanius of 
Nice, addressing Mary, says, ' Hail, tliou who hast 
taken away Eve's sorrow V^ Saint Basil of Seleucia 
calls her the peacemaker between men and God : ' Hail 
thou who art appointed umpire between God and 
men V^ and Saint Ephrem, the pacificator of the whole 
world : ' Hail, reconciler of the whole world ! '^ 

But now, it certainly would not be becoming to 
choose an enemy to treat of peace with the offended 
person, and still less an accomplice in the crime itself. 
Saint Gregory^® says, ' that an enemy cannot undertake 
to appease his judge, who is at the same time the in- 
jured party ; for if he did, instead of appeasing him, he 
would provoke him to greater wrath.' And therefore, 
aa Mary was to be the mediatress of peace between men 
and God, it was of the utmost importance that she 

* O desiderabiliflsima femina, ao terque beata ! ... in mnndam prodlittl 
vt orbis oniversi saluti obsequaris. — Serm. i. in Nat. B. V. 

* Sioat . . . per illam omnes evaserunt diluvium, sio per istam peooftti 
naufragium . . . Per illam paucorum &cta est liberatio : per istam homaal 
feneris salvatio. — iSerm. de B. Maria. 

* Nova Heva, Mater vitae nancupata.— 7n<. op. S. Athan. Serm.deAnntuU. 

^ Ave Domina Virgo, ave pnrissima, ave leceptaAulom Dei, ave (*and*> 
labrum Inminis, Adae revo(atio, Evsb redemptio, mons sanotoa, manifestan 
ianctuariam, et sponsarinm immortalitatis. — In Anruini. B. M. V. Hymn. 

* Ave gratia plena, Dei ao hominum mediatrix, quo medius paries inimi 
•itisB tollatur. ao coelestibus terrena coeant ao uniantor. — Orat. in S.M. tH it 
Jno. A N. J. a 

* At totioi tenanim orbii oonoiliatriz effloadisima. — /SSerm, dt JttmS^ 

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l&otdd not herself appear as a sinner and as an enemy 
of Gcody bat that she should appear in all things as a 
friend^ and &ee from every stain. 

Still more was it, becoming that God should pre- 
serve her from original sin, for He destined her to crash 
the head of that infernal serpent, which, by seducing 
oor first parents, entailed death upon all men : and this 
our Lord foretold : " I will put enmities between thee 
and the woman, and thy seed and her seed : she shaU 
crash thy head."^^ But if Mary was to be thu-t valiant 
woman brought into the world to conquer Lucifer, cer 
tauily it was not becoming that he should first conquei 
her,, and make her his slave ; but it was reasonable 
that she should be preserved &om all stain, and even 
m<Hnentaiy subjection to her opponent. The proud 
spirit endeavoured to infect the most pure soul of this 
Virgin with his venom, as he had already infected the 
whole human race. But praised and ever blessed be 
God, who, in His infinite goodness, preendowed her 
fw; this purpose with such grqat grace, that, remaining 
always free from any guilt of sin, she was ever able to 
be^ down and confound his pride, as Saint Augustine, 
<» whoever may be the author of the commentary on 
Genesis, says : ' Since the devil is the head of original 
sin, this head it was that Mary crushed : for sin never 
had any entry into the soul of this Blessed Virgin, 
which was consequently free from all staiu.'^ And 
Saint BcHaaventure more expressly says, 'It was becom- 
ing that the Blessed Virgin Mary, by whom our shame 
was to be blotted out, and by whom the devil was to 
be conquered, should never, even for a moment, have 
been under his dominion.'^^ 
Bat, above all, it principally became the Eternal 

^ Inimioitias ponam inter te et moHernm, et semen taum et aemen lUiiii; 
^ptftMoterot caput tuum. — Gen. UL 15. 

" Oam peooati ori^nalis caput sit diabolns, tale caput Mariii rontriTit, 
%■!» nalla pecoati subjectio iDjorreMnm babuit in animam Viqpm«, et ideo alk 
OBoni maoQla immnnis fuit.— >id. f 

u CoDffraam erat ut beata Virgo Maria, per quam anfertnr nobis oppvu* 
bdmm, ^aoeret dlabolom, oi nee af mocombe'e^ a*! PvodieunL^Llb. fik 

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^0 OK maby's immacitlatb coNcaspnoir. 

Father to preserve this His daughter unspotted by 
Adam's sin, as Saint Bemardine of Sienna renuaks, 
because He destined her to be the Mother of His only 
begotten Son : ' Thou wast preordained in the mind of 
God, before all creatures, that thou mightest beget God 
Himself as man.'^* If, then, for no other end, at least 
for the honour of His Son, who was God, it was reasQn- 
able that the Father should create Mary free from every 
stain. The angelic Saint Thomas says, that all things 
that are ordained for God should be holy and free from 
stain: * Holiness is to be attributed to those things 
which are ordained for God.'^ Hence when David 
was planning the temple of Jerusalem, on a scale of 
magnificence becoming a God, he said, " For a house 
is prepared not for man, but for God.^* How much 
more reasonable, then, is it not, to suppose that the 
Sovereign Architect, who destined Mary to be the Mo- 
ther of His own Son, adorned her soul with all most 
precious gifts, that she might be a dwelling worthy of a 
God ! Denis the Carthusian says, ^ that God, the arti- 
ficer of all things, T^hen constructing a worthy dwelling 
for His Son, adorned it with all attractive graces/^ 
And the Holy Church herself, in the following prayer, 
assures us that God prepared the body and soul of the 
Blessed Virgin, so as to be a worthy dwelling on earth' 
for His only-begotten Son, ^ Almighty ana Eternal 
God, who, by the cooperation of the Holy Ghost, didst 
prepare the body and soul of the glorious Virgin and 
Mother Mary, that she might become a worthy habita- 
tion for thy Son,' &c.^® 

^* Ta ante omnem creatnrara In mente Del pneordinata ftiifti, at, cm- 
Biam feminarum castissima, Deam ip«iim homiaem Teram ez toa oamt 
procreares. — JSerm. de Concep. B, M. V, art. iii. cap. 3. 

" Sanotitas illis rebns attribuitur, qme in Deam ordinantar.— 1 pw % 
nxvi. art. 1, oonol. 

1' Neqae enim homlnl prasparatur habitatio, sed Deo.— 1 Paml/^pem, 
jcziz. 1. 

^' Omnium artilisz Dens, ad ipeius formatiofiem in atero sapernatiualiter 
oonoarrens, Filio suo dignum habitaoulum fe,brioatara8, eam intrinseoni 
omnium g^tifioantium charismatum et dignifioantium habituum plenita- 
dine adomavit— i>e Laud. F. lib. ii. art 2 

^ Omnipotens sempiteme Deus qui gloriossB Virginia Matrii Maii» oovpof 
at animam, ut dignum Filii kgi habitaonlom effloi mereretor, Splr!tu " '- 
tuoperwita, pn»paiMtt. A« 

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OK MABT'S immaculate CONCBPTIOlir. 261 

We know tliat a man's highest honour is to be bom 
^t noble parents : " And the glory of children are their 
fethers."^^ Hence in the world the reputation of being 
possessed of only a small fortune^ and little learning, is 
more easily tolerated than that of being of low birth; 
for, whilst a poor man may become rich by his in- 
dustry, an ignorant man learned by study, it is very 
difficult for a person of humble origin to attain the 
rank of nobility ; but, even should he attain it, his 
birth can always be made a subject of reproach to him. 
How, then, can we suppose that God, who could cause 
His Son to be bom of a noble mother by preserving 
her from sin, would on the contrary permit Him to be 
bom of one infected by it, and thus enable Lucifw 
always to reproach Him with the shame of having a 
mother who had once been his slave and tbe enemy of 
God t No, certainly, the Eternal Father did not per- 
mit this; but He well provided for the honour of 
His Son by preserving His Mother always Immaculate, 
that she might be a Mother becoming such a Son. 
The Greek Church bears witness to this, saying, ' that 
God, by a singular providence, caused the mdst Blessed 
Virgin to be as perfectly pure from the very first mo- 
ment of her existence, as it was fitting that she should 
be, who was to be the worthy Mother of Christ.'^ 

It is a common axiom amongst theologians that no 
rift was ever bestowed on any creature with which the 
Slessed Virgin was not also enriched. Saint Bernard 
says on this subject, ' It is certainly not wrong to sup- 
pose that that which has evidently been bestowed, even 
on only a few, was not denied to so great a Virgin.'** ^ 
Saint Thomas of Villanova says, ' Nothing was ever 

f ranted to any Saint which did not shine in a much 
igher degree in Mary from the very first moment of 

*• Gloria filioram pstres eoram. — Proo. xvii. 6. 

' ProrideDtia singalari perfecit, nt as. Virgo, ab ipso vita stUB prinoipi* 
tMn omnino exisleret pura, qnam decebat illam que Christo digna maMt 
•ziiterot— -in Men. die xxv. Martii. 

** Quod . . . yel pauois mortalium constat fiiisse collatam, fttf o«rto Bflv 
•ft Mupioari taats Viivini mw n^fatam.— J^. ofauiT. ad Cam. Lngi, 

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Lei existence.'^ And as it is true that ' there is an 
infinite diflference between the Mother of God and the 
servants of God/^ according to the celebrated saying 
of Saint John Damascen, we must certainly suppose, 
according to the doctrine of Saint Thomas, that ^ Gt)d 
conferred privileges of grace in every way greater on 
His Mother than on His servants.^ And now ad- 
mitting this, Saint Anselm, the great defender of the 
Immaculate Mary, takes up the question and says, 
'Was the wisdom of God unable to form a pure dwell- 
ing, and to remove every stain of human nature from 
it r^ Perhaps God could not prepare a clean habita- 
tion for His Son by preserving it from the common 
contagion t ' God,' continues the same Saint, ^ could 
preserve angels in heaven spotless, in the midst of the 
devastation that surrounded them ; was He, then, 
unable to preserve the Mother of His Son and the 
Queen of angels from the common fall of men V^ And 
I may here add, that as God could grant Eve the 
grace to come immaculate into the world, could He 
not, then, grant the same favour to Mary ? 

Yes indeed ! God could do it, and did it 5 for on 
every account ' it was becoming,' as the same Saint 
Anselm says, ' that that Virgin, on whom the Eternal 
Father intended to bestow His only-begotten Son 
should be adorned with such purity as not only to 
exceed that of all men and angels, but exceeding any 
purity that can be conceived after that of God.'^^ And 

•■ Nihil . . . uBqaam sanctoratn speoiali privilegio oonoessum est, quod 
non a prinoipio vitse acoamulatius pnefulgeat in Maria. — In. f est. Assump. 
B. V. cone. i. 

^ Infinitum Dei servorum ao Matris discrimen est. — Horn., i. in Dorm, 
B. V. M. 

^ Rationabiliter . . . creditur, quod ilia, qute ^ennit Uni^nitum, a PatM 
plennm gratise et veritatis prae omnibus aliis, majora privilegia gratia aoo*- 
perit. — 3 p. q. xxvii. art. 1, concl. 

^ Inscia ue fuit et impoteus sapientia Dei et yirtus mundura sibi habi' 
teculum oondere, remota omni labe conditionis humansef — Dt ConcqpL 
B. M. V. 

^ Angelis aliis peocantibus, bonos a peccatis servarit ; et feminam. 
miatrem suam moz futuram, ab aliorum peccatis exsortem servare uon po- 
tuit?— /6. 

^ Deoens erat, tu ea puritate, qua major sub Deo nequit intelligi, Virgo 
f la Biteret, oui Deut Pacer uoioum FiUum «uum , . . ita dare diB|K)iieb& 
'0% OwMiijp. Virg, oaik xriiL 

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ON mart's immaculate coxoeption. 263 

Saint John Damascen speaks in still clearer terms ; tot 
be says, ' that our Lord had preserved the soul, to- 
gether with the body of the Blessed Virgin, in that 
purity which became her who was to receive a God 
into her womb j for, as He is holy, He only reposes 
in holy places.'^ And thus the Eternal Father could 
well say to His beloved daughter, ' As the lily among 
thorns ; so is my love among the daughters.'^ My 
daughter, amongst all my other daughters, that art as 
a lily in the midst of thorns ; for they are all stained 
with sin, but thou wast always Inmiaculate, and always 
my beloved. 

Second point — In the second place it was becoming 
that the Son should preserve Mary from sin, as being 
His Mother. No man can choose his mother j but 
should such a thing ever be granted to any one, who is 
there who, if able to choose a queen, would wish for a 
slave? If able to choose a noble lady, would he wish 
for a servant ? Or if able to choose a friend of God, 
would he wish for His enemy ? If, then, the Son of 
God alone could choose a Mother according to His own 
heart, His liking, we must consider, as a matter of 
course, that He chose one becoming a God. Saint 
Bernard says, ' that the Creator of men becoming Man, 
murft have selected Himself a Mother whom He knew 
became Him.^^ And as it was becoming that a most 
pure God should have a mother pure from all sin. He 
created her spotless. Saint Bernardine of Sienna, 
speaking of the different degrees of sanctification, says, 
that ' the third is that obtained by becoming the 
Mother of God ; and that this sanctification consists in 
the entire removal of original sin. This is what took 
place in the Blessed Virgin : truly God created Mary 

' • . . . Animum una cum oorpore Virginem conservasset, veluti deoebat 
niam, que sinu suo oonceptura Deum erat, qui, cum ipse sauotus «it, ia 
■anotif requieecit — De Fide Orth. lib. iv. cap. 14. 

** Sicut lilium inter spinas, sic arnica mea inter filias. — Cant. IL 2. 

** Factor hominum ut homo fieret, nusciturus de homine, talem A\A ts 
omnibus debuit deligere, imo condere matrem. qualem et se decere foifbtli 
ft iribi ioyer&t plaoituram.— iSu|). Miss. Horn- U. 

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BQohy botli as to tlie eminence of her nature and the 
perfection of grace with which He endowed her, aa 
became Him who was to be bora of her.*^ Here 
we may apply the words of the Apostle to the He- 
brews : " For it was fitting that we should have sacb 
a high priest ; holy^ innocent, undefiled, separated £x>ia 
iinners."® A learned author observes that, according 
to Saint Paul, it was fitting that our Blessed Redeem* 
er should not only be separated from sin, but also 
from sinners ; according to the explanation of Saint 
Thomas, who says, ' that it was necessary that He, who 
caiue to take away sins, should be separated from sin- 
ners, as to the fault under which Adam lay.^ But 
how could Jesus Christ be said to be separated from 
Binners if He had a Mother who was a sinner t 

Saint Ambrose says, ' that Christ chose this vessel 
into which He was about to descend, not of earth, but 
iirom heaven ; and He consecrated it a temple of pu- 
rity.'^ The Saint alludes to the text of Saint 
Paul : " The first man was of the earth, earthly : the 
second man from heaven, heavenly.''^ The Saint 
calls the Divine Mother 'a heavenly vessel,^ not be- 
cause Mary was not earthly by nature, as heretics 
have dreamt, but because she was heavenly by grace; 
she was as superior to the angels of heaven in sanctity 
and purity, as it was becoming that she should be, 
in whose womb a King of Glory was to dwell. This 
agrees with that which Saint John the Baptist reveal- 
ed to St. Bridget, saying, ' It was not becoming that 
the King of Glory should repose otherwise thsai in 

*^ Tertia fait sanctificatio matenialis, et hsBO removet oalpam orlginaleok 
• . . HsBO fiiit in B. Virgine Maria matre DeL Sane Dens . . . talem, tarn 
Bobilitate uaturae, qnam perfectione gratis, oondidit matrom, qnalem earn 
decebat habere saam gloriosissimam mfyestatem. — Pro Concep. Im. V. art L 
cap. 1. 

** Talis enim decebat, ut nobis esset pontlfex, sanotus, Innooens, impol- 
lotiiB, segregatus a peccatoribus, et excelsior ccelis foetus. — Hd>. tH. 26. 

** Oportnit eum, qui peccata venerat tollere, esse a peooatoribus segro* 
fatnm, quantnm ad culpam cui Adam subjaouit. — 3 p. q. !t. art 6, ad 2. 

** Non de terra utique, sed de coelo, vas sibi hoc per quod desoendtrat, 
Ohristos elegit, et saorayit templnm pndoris. — De Inst. F. oap. v. 

** Primus homo de terra, terreaus: feoundoB homo de oifiUK i 

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Olf HABY^S lUUAdiStAtk COKCBPTIOlf. i6ii 

a chosen vessel; exceeding all men and angels in pu 
ritj.'" And to this we may add that which the Eter- 
nal Father Himself said to the sauic Saint: ^Mary waa 
a clean and an unclean vessel: clean, for she was all fair; 
but unclean, because she was born of sinners ; though 
she was conceived without sin, that My Son might be 
bom of her without sin.'^ And remark these last 
words, ^Mary was conceived without sin, that the 
Divine Son might be bom of her without sin/ Not 
that Jesus Christ could have contracted sin ; but that 
He might not be reproached with even having a Mo- 
ther i^ected with it, who would consequently have 
been the slave of the devil. 

The Holy Ghost says that " the glory of a man is 
from the honour of his father, and a father without 
honour is the disgrace of the son/^ ^Therefore it 
was,' says an ancient writer, * that Jesus preserved the 
body of Maiy from corruption after death j for it would 
have redounded to His dishonour, had that virginal flesh 
with which He had clothed Himself become .the food of 
worms.' For he adds, 'corraption is a disgrace of hu- 
man nature ; and as Jesus was not subject to it, Mary 
was also exempted ; for the flesh of Jesus is the flesh of 
Mary.'^ But since the corruptitm of her body would 
have been a disgrace for Jesus Christ, because He was 
bom of her, how much greater would the disgrace have 
been, had He been born of a mother whose soul was 
«nce infected with the cormption of sin ? For not only 
is it trae that the flesh of Jesus is the same as that of 
Mary, ' but,' adds the same author, ' the flesh of our 
Saviour, even after His resurrection, remained the same 

** Non deoait Kegem gloriao iacere, nisi in yase pnrissimo et mundinf mo 
•t eleotissimo, prsB omnibus angelis et huminibus. — JUv. lib. i. cap. 31. 

*' Maria fait vas mandam, et non mundum. Mundam vero fuit, quia 
tota pulohra . . . sed non mundum fuit, quia . . . de peccatoribus nata est, 
Uc«t line peooato coooepta, ut Filius meus de ea sine pecoato nasceretar.-> 
Mev, lib. V. Exp. Rev. xviii. . 

** Gloria enim bominis ex honore pstris sui, et dedeoos filii pater do* 
hooore. — Eccles. iii. 13. 

** Putredo namque et yermis humana est opprobrium oonditionii, a qaa 
OPprobrio oum Jesus sit alienus, natura Marite ezoipitar . . . oaio arai 
Jma oaio ett Mun»,—l>c Auwno. B. M. Y. lib. o. & 

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that He had taken from His Mother.' ' The flesh of 
Christ is the flesh of Mary j and though it was glorified 
by the glory of His resurrection, yet it remains the same 
that was taken from Mary.'*® Hence the Abbot Arnold 
of Ghartres says, 'The flesh of Mary and that of Christ 
are one; and therefore I consider the glory of the fc'oa 
as being not so much common to, as one with that of 
His Mother.'*^ An'd now if this is true, supposing tha* 
the Blessed Virgin was conceived in sin, though the 
Son could not have contracted its stain, nevertheless 
His having united flesh to Himself which was once in- 
fected with sin, a vessel of uncleanness and subject to 
Lucifer, would always have been a blot. 

Mary was not only the Mother, but the worthy Mo- 
ther of our Saviour. She is called so by all the hoi} 
Fathers. Saint Bernard says, ' Thou alone wast founc 
worthy to be chosen as the one in whose virginal womb 
the King of kings should have His first abode.'** Saint 
Thomas of Villanova says, ' Before she conceived, she 
was already fit to be the Mother of God.'*^ The holy 
Jhurch herself attests that Mary merited to be the 
Mother of Jesus Christ, saying, Hhe Blessed Virgin, 
who merited to bear in her womb Christ our Lord f^ 
and Saint Thomas Aquinas, explaining these words, 
says, that ' the Blessed Vii'gin is said to have merited 
to bear the Lord of all ; not that she merited His In- 
carnatipn, but that she merited, by the graces she had 
receiyed, such a degree of purity and sanctity, that 
she could becomingly be the Mother of Godj'** that 

^ Caro enim Cbristi, quamyis gloria resturectionis fderit magnffioatt ' 
• . . eadem tamen caruis mansit et manet natttra, quae susoepta est de Miari% 

^ Una est Maris et Christi caro . . . Filii ffloriam cum matre non tam 
eommunem judico, quam eandem. — De Laud. B.M. 

^ Tn sola inyeota eg digna, ut in tua vir^nali aula Rex regom . . 
primam sibi mansionem . . . elegit — Depr. ad B. V. 

^ Anteqiiam conciperet Filium Dei, jam idonea erat, ut esset Mater DeL 
Serm. iii. de Nat B. V. 

*^ Hegina coeli, Letare . . . quia quern meruisti portare . . . retnireztt, 
fticut ^vsW.—Aniiph. temp. Pasch. 

*■ Beata Virgo dicitur mernisse portare Dominum omnium : non quia !»•• 
mit ipsum iocamari, ged quia meruit, ex gratia sibi data, ilium pnrltatis «t 
flMioutatia jradom, at ooogme v^met ewe Mater Dei. a p q. d, ut. Ls. •&& 

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OK Mary's IMltACtrLATE CONCBPnO». ftt^ 

is to say, Mary could not merit the Incarnation of the 
Eternal Word, but by Divine grace she merited such 
a degree of perfection as to render her worthy to be 
the Mother of a God ; according to what Saint Peter 
Damian also writes : * Her singular sanctity, the effeol 
of grace, meiited tjiat she alone should be judged wor- 
thy to receive a God.'^ 

And now, supposing that Maiy was worthy to be 
the Mother of God, ' what excellency and what perfec- 
tion was there that did not become her f *"' asks Saint 
Thomas of Villanoya. The angelic Doctor says, 'that 
when God chooses any one for a particulju: dignity, He 
renders him fit for it;' whence he adds, 'that God, 
having chosen Mary for His Mother, He also by Hia 
grace rendered her worthy of this highest of all dig- 
pities.' ' The Blessed Virgin was divinely chosen to 
be the Mother of God, and therefore we cannot doubt 
that God had fitted her by His gi*ace for this dignity j 
and we are assured of it by the angel : " For thou hast 
found grace with God j behold, thou shalt conceive," 
&c.^ And thence the Saint argues that ' the Blessed 
Virgin never committed any actual sin, not even a 
veAial one. Otherwise,' he says, ' she would not have 
been a Mother worthy of Jesus Christ ; for the igno- 
miny of the Mother would also have been that of the 
Son, for He would have had a sinner for His Mother.'^ 
And now if Mary, on account of a single venial sin, 
which does not deprive a soul of Divine grace, would 
not have been a Mother worthy of God, how muck 
more unworthy would she have been, had she con- 
tracted the guilt of oiiginal sin, which would hove 

^Venerabilis Mater Domini, septem Sanoti Splritnt donlt . . . dotate 
ftdt Qnam utiqne seterna sapientia . . . talem oonstnudt, qxue dignft fleivl 
Ulom sascipere. — Serm. ii. de Nat. B. M. V. 

^ Quae autem excellentia, qu» perfeotio, qnn magnitndo deonit ean vt 
M0et idonea Mater Del— Serm. de Nat. B. M. V. 

^ Beata aatem Virgo fait electa divinitus, ut esset mater Dei et ideo nda 
fltt dabitandnm quin Deus per suam gratiam earn ad boo idoneam reddkHt, 
Moondum quod angelus ad earn dicit/'Invenisti gratiam apad Dema: MM^ 
ccmoipies," &c. — 3 p. q. xxviL art 4, coaol. 

^ Noa . . . ftiisset idonea Mater Dei, si peoeaaset altqiuado . . . qala 

. . icioiDisiaMatrisadFi&u»i«diindaM«l -3. p. %. sxftt. ark 4 «Mil 

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168 03f mart's iMMACTTLATB COBfCBPTIOll. 

mado her an enemy of God and a slave of tlie devil 1 
And this reflection it was that made Saint Augustine 
utter those memorable words, that, ' when speafing of 
Mary for the honour of our Lord/ whom she merited 
to have for her Son, he would not entertain even the 
question of sin in her ^ ' for we know,' he says^ ' thai 
through Him, who it is evident was without sin, and 
whom she merited to conceive and bring forth, she re- 
ceived grace to conquer all sin.'^ 

Therefore, as Saint Peter Damian observes, we must 
consider it as certain ' that the Incarnate Word chose 
Himself a becoming Mother, and one of whom He 
would not have to be ashamed.'^^ Saint Proclus also 
says, ' that He dwelt in a womb which He had created 
free from all that might be to His dishonour.'^^ It was 
no shame to Jesus Christ, when He heard himself con- 
temptuously called by the Jews the Son of Mary, mean- 
ing that He was the Son of a poor woman : ^' Is BOt His 
Mother called Mary t "^ for He came into this world to 

S've us an example of humility and patience. But, on 
e other hand, it would undoubtedly have been a dis- 
moe, could He have heard the devil say, ' Was not His 
Jlother a sinner t was he not born of a wicked Mother, 
who was once our slave t' It would even have been un- 
becoming had Jesus Christ been born of a woman whose 
body was deformed, or crippled, or possessed by devils: 
but how much more would it have been so, had Hf 
been bom of a woman whose soul had been once de* 
formed by sin, and in the possession of Lucifer I 

Ah ! indeed, God, who is Wisdom itself, well knew 
how to prepare Himself a becoming dwelling, in which 

** Ezoepta itaque lanota yirgine Maria, de qua, propter honorem D<mdiil« 
■nDam pronos oom de peocatis acritur haberi volo qoaBstionem : unde eoim 
■oimns, qaod ei plot gratisB oollatum fuerit ad vincendum omni ex parte 
peooatam, qiue oonoipere ao parere meruit, quern constat nuU4kn haboiiM 
peooatom.— 2>e Nat. tt OraUa, contra Pelag. cap. xxxvu 

•1 Quam utiqne »tema Sapientia . . . talem construxit, qu» digna fl«rtl 
nhun •ofloipere, et de intemerataB camis sosb Yisceribui prooreare.— <Ser«ft. fi. 
tmNoLB.M. V. 

** Intra visoera, que oitra omnem dedecoris notam oondiderat) inlMilr'M. 
f^Mom. de Nat, D. N. J. C. 

^ lIouM natar fdm dieitar Maria f—ifatt. ziiL » 

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ON HABt's noiACULATB C02l€XPnOV. S69 

lo reside on earth: ^^ Wisdom hath built herself a 
ftonse.''*^ *'The Most High hath sanctified His own 
tabernacle .... God will help it in the morning 
early .'^ David says that our Lord sanctified this 
His dwelling "in the morning early;" that is to say, 
from the beginning of her life, to render her worthy 
of Himself; for it was not becoming that a holy God 
should choose Himself a dwelling that was not holy: 
"Holiness becometh Thy house. And if God de- 
clares that He will never enter a malicious soul, or 
dwell in a body subject to sin, "for wisdom will not 
enter into a malicious soul, nor dwell in a body subject 
to sm,''^'^ how can we ever think that the Son of God 
chose to dwell in the soul and body of Mary, without 
having previously sanctified and preserved it from 
every stain of sin t for, according to the doctrine of 
Saint Thomas, ' the Eternal Word dwelt not only in 
the soul of Mary, but even in her womb.'^ The holy 
Church sings, ' Thou, Lord, hast not disdained to 
dwell in the Virgin's womb.'*^ Yes, for He would 
have disdained to have taken flesh in the womb of an 
Agnes, a Gertrude, a Teresa, because those virgins 
though holy, were nevertheless for a time stained witt 
original sin, but He did not disdain to become man in 
the womb of Mary, because this beloved Virgin was 
always pure and free from the least shadow of sin, and 
was never possessed by the infernal serpent. And 
therefore Saint Augustine says, 'that the Son of G^ 
never made Himself a more worthy dwelling than 
Mary, who was never possessed by the enemy, or de- 
q>oiled of her ornaments.'®^ 

•• Sopientia aedifioayit sibl domam. — Ptov, ix, X, 

(* Sanotificavit tabernaoulum suum Altissimuf . . . adfaTabit eti 
■ane dilaoalo. — P«. xiv. 5, 6. 

** Domdtn tuam deoet sanctitndo — Ps. xoii. 5 

" In malevolam animam non introibit sapientia, neo habitabit in 
•obdito peocatis. — Sap. i. i. 

** Singalari modo Dei Filius, qui est Dei sapientia, tn ipsa habiUTit; bob 
•olnm in anima, sed etiam in utero. — 3 p. q. zxvii. art. 4, conol. 

■• Non borruisti Virginis uterum. 

** Nallam digniorem domam slbi Filius Dei adiflcavit qoam ^Hn*% fin 
Ikiit ab hofltibot capta. neque sois ocBAmentii lovUatei t 

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On the other hand, Saint Cyril ot Alexandria aaka^ 
*' Who ever heard of an architect who built himself a 
temple, and yielded np the first possession of it to his 
greatest enemy ^^ 

Yes, says Saint Methodius, speaking on the same 
subject, that Lord who commanded us to honour our 
parents, would not do otherwise, when He became man, 
than observe it, by giving His Mother every grace and 
honour : ' He who said. Honour thy father and thy 
mother, that He might observe His own decree, gave 
all grace and honour to His Mother.'® Therefore the 
author of the book already quoted from the works of 
Saint Augustine says, ' that we must certainly believe 
that Jesus Christ preserved the body of Mary from cor- 
ruption after death; for if He had not done so, He 
would not have observed the law,' which, * at the same 
time that it commands us to honour our mother forbids 
ns to show her disrespect.'^ But how little would 
Jesus have guarded His Mother's honour, had He not 
perservedher from Adam's sin! ' Certainly that s<hi 
would sin/ say-s the Augustinian father Thomas ol 
Strasburg, 'who, having it in his power to preserve hii 
mother from original sin, did not do so;' *but tha4 
which would be a sin in us,' continues the same author, 
* must certainly be considered unbecoming in the Son 
if God, who, whilst He could make His Mother imma- 
culate, did it not.' 'Ah, no !' exclaims Gerson, * since 
ihou, the supreme Prince, choosest to have a Mother, 
certainly Thou owest her honour. But now if Thou 
didst permit her, who was to be the dwelling of all 
purity, to be in the abomination of original sin, cer- 
tainly it would appear that that law was not well fol- 

*' Quis nnquam de avohiteoto audivit, qai snom ipriu i^mpltim eoB* 
Itnucerit, et in eo habitare probibitas sitt— jBTom. ri. 

''Qui dixit, **Honora patrem tuum et matrem," longe pofttii id ipM 
pnestare volens gratiam servaverit, ao quod ita gtatuit, ei, qvm ministmvK, 
at aio sponte oasceretor, divinisqae laadibus deooraverit, qoam sine patfe, 
relut innuptam sibi matrem ascivit. — Serm. de Stmeone et Anna, 

^ Lex enim, sioat honorem matris praeoipit, ita inhonoiationem daaanat 
''Lib. de Assump. B. V. int. op. S. Auguttina. 

** Cam ta funamqi Priiioept, Tif babera Jfatnv oiailittr 1m t«n^ IS 

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'Moreover, we knc^w/ says Saint Bernardine of 
JSienna, ' that the Divine Son came into the world 
more to redeem Mary than all other creatures.'®* There 
are two means by which a person may be redeemed, as 
Saint Augustine teaches us ; the one by raising him 
up after having fallen, and the other by preventing 
Lim from falling f^ and this last means is doubtless 
the most honourable. ' He is more honourably re- 
deemed,' says the learned Suarez, ' who is prevented 
from falling, than he who after falling is raised up f^ 
for thus the injury or stain is avoided which the soul 
always contracts by falling. This being the case, we 
ought certainly to believe that Mary was redeemed in 
the more honourable way, and the one which became 
the Mother of God, as Saint Bonaventure remarks ; 
'for it is to be believed that thg Holy Ghost, as a 
very special favour, redeemed and preserved her from 
original sin by a new kind of sanctification, and this 
in the very moment of her conception j not that sin 
was in her, but that it otherwise would have been.'*® 
The sermon from which this passage is taken is proved 
by Frassen^ to be really the work of the holy Doctor 
above named. On the same subject Cardinal Cusano 
elegantly remarks, that * others had Jesus as a liberator, 
but to the most Blessed Virgin He was a pre-libera- 

debebig bonorem, &o v^nc autem appareret illam leffem non bene ad!m- 
pleri, gi in bujusmoQ. tominationej immunditia, et snbjeotione peocati 
aliqao tempore permitteres illam, qusB esse debet habitaoalum, templum, et 
palatium totius puritatis. — Serm. de Concep. B. M, F. 

^ Christns plus pro ipsa reiimenda venit, qaam pro omid alia oreatiHVL 
•^Pro. Fest. V. M. s. 4. a. 3 c. 3. art ID. cap. 3. 

** Enarratio in Ps. Ixxxv. versio. 3. 

^ Duplex est redimendi modus ; unns eriffendolapfluiii, alter prvreniend* 
Jamjam lapsurum ne cadat: juzta illud Psalm. 143, ''Redemistisenmm 
toum de i^ladio maligno ;" id est, custodisti, ne interflceretnr. £x his autem 
posterior modus est sine dnbio opus majoris grati» et benevolenti^, et, 
oieteris paribus, majoris efficacie ao potestatis; er^ifo deouit, ut Cbristua 
Ifatrem suam nobilissimo modo redimerit — Dt Jncamat p. 3. q. zxyiL 
art 2, dhip. 3, sect. 5. 

^ Credendum est enim, quod novo sanctificationis gfenere, in ejnf oon* 
eeptionis primordio, Spiritus Sanotus earn a peccato originali (non quod in* 
foit, sed quod infuisset) redemit, atque siii^ulari flpratia prmervayit.— 3lsflMt 

* Boot. Acad. d«. Inc. d.3,a.3,§3,4.1,$& 

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tor f^ meaning, that all others had a Redeemer wli« 
delivered them from sin with which they were already 
defiled, but that the most Blessed Virgin had a Re- 
deemer who, because He was her Son, preserved her 
from ever being defiled by it. 

In fine, to conclude this point in the words of Hugo 
of Saint Victor, the tree is known by its fruits. If the 
Lamb was always immaculate, the Mother must also 
have been always immaculate : ' Such the Lamb, such 
the Mother of the Lamb ; for the tree is known by its 
fruit.'^ Hence this same Doctor salutes Mary, say- 
ing, ' worthy mother of a worthy Son ;' meaning, 
that no other than Mary was worthy to be the Mother 
of such a Son, and no other than Jesus was a worthy 
Son of such a Mother : and then he adds these words, 
* O fair Mother of beauty itself, O high Mother of the 
Most High, Mother of God !'"'* Let us then address 
this most Blessed Mother in the words of Saint Ilde- 
phonsus, ' Suckle, O Mary, thy Creator, give milk to 
Him who made thee, and who made thee such that He 
could be made of thee.'"^ 

Third point-^^iixcQ, then, it was becoming that the 
Father should preserve Mary from sin as His daughter, 
and the Son as His Mother, it was also becoming that 
the Holy Ghost should preserve her as His spouse. 
Saint Augustine says that * Mary was that only one 
who merited to be called the Mother and Spouse of 
God.'^* For Saint Ansel m asserts that ' the Divine 
Spirit, the love itself of the Father and the Son, came 
corporally into Mary, and enriching her with graces 

** Pneliberatorem enim Vhrso lancta habnit, enter! liberatorem et poft< 
4 Slwratorem. Cbristos enim sio omnium liberator, quod et Virginia liberates 
•t preliberator, casterorum vero liberator et postliberator. Ipsa sola pot* 
Ad» lapsnm, non indi^ sed plena ori|^nali Justitia, at Era, et multo magit 
areata ftiit. — Excitat. lib. yiii. Serm. Siout lil. int. sp. 

'* Talis . . . Agnus, qualis Mater Ag^ni . . . quoniam omnis arbor ex 
frnctu sno cog^oscitur. — De Verba Inc. ooll. iii. 

** O digna digni, formosa palchri, manda incomiptl, excelsa altisdmi. 
Hater Dei, Sponsa Regis seteniL — Sarm. iii. de Assump. B. M. V. 

'* Laota, Maria, Creatorem taam, laota panem coeli, lacta premium 
mmidi . . . lacta ergo eum qui fecit te, qui talem fecit te, at ipse fieret ex 
%t.'-4Serm. dt Nat. B,M.f, 

f* Ume «ft qoai ■oUmerait liateretSpoantooMl— «8!iim 908.«d.B.a|ifb 

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(Mr maby's immaculate coNcaEPTKwr. 27S 

ibove all creatures, reposed in Iier and made hei His 
Spouse, the Queen of heaven and earth.''' He sayi 
that He came into her corporally^ that is, as to the 
effect : for He came to form of her immaculate body 
the immaculate body of Jesus jOhrist, as the Archangel 
had already predicted to her : " The Holy Ghost shall 
come upon thee."'® And therefore it is, says Saint 
Thomas, ' that Mary is called the temple of the Lord, 
mnd the sacred resting-place of the Holy Ghost j for 
by the operation of the Holy Ghost she became the 
Mother of the Incarnate Word."' 

And now, had an excellent artist the power to make 
his bride such as he could represent her, what pains 
would he not take to render her as beautiful as possi- 
ble I Who, then, can say that the Holy Ghost did 
otherwise with Mary, when He could make her who 
was to be His spouse as beautiful as it became Him 
that she should be t 

Ah no ! He acted as it became Him to act ; for this 
same Lord Himself declares ; " Thou art all fair, my 
love, and there is not a spot in thee.'"' These words, 
say Saint lldephonsus and Saint Thomas, are pro- 
perly to be understood of Mary, as Cornelius k Lapide 
remarks 5 and Saint Bemardine of Sienna,'^ and Saint 
Lawrence Justinian,^ assert that they are to be under- 
stood precisely as applying to her Immaculate Concep- 
tion ; whence Blessed Raymond Jordano addresses her, 
Baying, 'Thou art all fair, most glorious Virgin, not 
in part, but wholly ; and no stain of mortal, venial, or 
original sin, is in thee.'^^ 

'* Ipse . . . Spiritns Dei, ip«e amor omnipotentis Patris et FilU . . . Iptt^ 
Inqiiam, corporaliter, at bene dioam, venit in earn, singalariqne gratia pm 
omnibos qaaB oroata sunt, live in ooelo, dve in terra, reqoievit in ei^ et 
leginam ae imperatricem oceli et tenrae, et omnium qon in eis sunt, fed^ 
Mm. — De Excel. Virg. cap. ir. 

'^ Spiritus Sanctus superveniet in te. — Luc i. 35. 

*^ Unde dicitur templum Domini, ■aorarium Spiritut SanotI, quia OM 
9^t ex Spiritu Sancto. — OptMC. viiL 

** Tota pulohra es, arnica mea, et macula non est in te. — Ckunt It. 7. 

** Serm. de Coaoep. B. M. V. art iL o. 2. 

» Serm. de Nat B. M. V. 

u Tota pulchra es, Virgo glorioslssima, non in parte, fed in totoi «| 

macula poccati, sive mortalis, dye venialis, Are oxiginalia, non ^ ia ItD^ 
Omi€mipl & r. Mp. ii. 

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S74 OK maby's immaculate conceptioii 

The Holy Ghost signified the same thing when He 
called this His spouse an enclosed garden and a sealed 
fountain : " Mjr sister, my spouse, is a garden enclosed, 
a fountain sealed up."^ ' Mary/ says Saint Sophro- 
nioSy ' was tbis enclosed garden and sealed fountain, 
into which no guile coutd enter, against which no fi:aad 
of the enemy could prevail, and who always was holy 
in mind and body.'^^ Saint Bernard likewise says^ 
addressing the Blessed Virgin, ' Thou art an enclosed 
garden, into which the sinner^s hand has never entered 
to pluck its flowers.'^ 

We know th§.t this Divine Spouse loved Mary more 
than all the other Saints and Ajigels put together, as 
Father Suarez,^ with Saint Lawrence Justinian, and 
others, assert. He loved her from the very beginning, 
and exalted her in sanctity above all others, as it is 
expressed by David in the Psalms : " The foundations 
thereof are in the holy mountains : the Lord loveth the 
gates of Sion above all the tabernacles of Jacob ... a 
man is born in her, and the Highest Himself hath 
founded her.''^^ Words which all signify that Mary 
was holy from her conception. The same thing is 
signified by other passages addressed to her by the 
Holy Ghost. In Proverbs we read, '* Many daughters 
have gathered together riches : thou hast surpassed 
them all.''^ If Mary has surpassed all others in the 
riches of grace, she must have had original jvistice, as 
Adam and the Angels had it. In the Canticles we 
read, " There are . . . young maidens without number. 

* Hortru oonolaaas soror mea sponsa, hortus eonolusus, fons signatuB.— 
, Cant. iv. 12. 

'^ Hno est hortug oonclosus, fons signatus, puteus aquaram yiyentiank 
ad quam nulli potuerunt doli irrampere, neo pnevaluit fraiis inimioi ; seA 
permansit sancta mente et corpora. — Serm. de Assump. B, M. V, int op. M, 

^ Hortos coDclusus ta es, Dei genitrix, ad quern deflorandom maiiiu peo* 
«atori8 nunquam introivit. — Depr, ad B. V. M. 

» De Inc. p. 2. d. 18, § 4. 

^ Fundameuta ejus in montibas Sanctis. Diligit Dominns porta* Skm 

■aper omnia tabernacuia Jacob Homo natus est in ea : et ipse Idndavtt 

9taa Altissimus. — Ps. Ixxxvi. 1, 5. 

^ MaltsB filisB congregaverunt divitias t ta gapergrsMa et iuiiy«tMW.-M 

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0»e is my dove, my perfect one'' (in the Hebrew it 16 
" my entire, my immaculate one") " is but one, she is the 
only one of her mother."^ All just souls are daughters 
of divine grace ; but amongst these Mary was the dove 
without the gall of sin, the perfect one without spot in 
her origin, the one conceived in grace. 

Hence it is that the angel, before she became the 
Mother of God, already found her full of grace, and thus 
saluted her, " Eiul, full of grace f on which words 
Saint Sophronius writes, that ^ grace is given partially 
to other Saints, but to the Blessed Virgin all was 
given.'* So much so, says Saint Thomas, that ' grace 
not only rendered the soul, but even the flesh of Mary 
holy, so that this Blessed Virgin might be able to clothe 
the Eternal Word with it.'^ Now all this leads us to 
tbe conclusion, that Mary, from the moment of her con- 
ception, was enriched and filled with Divine grace by 
the Holy Ghost, as Peter of Celles remarks, * the pleni- 
tude of grace was in her; for from the very moment of 
her conception the whole grace of the Divinity over- 
flowed upon her, by the outpouring of the Holy Ghost.'*^ 
Hence Saint Peter Damian says, 'that the Holy Spirit 
was about to bear her off entirely to Himself, who was 
chosen and pre^lected by God.'^ The Saint says ' to 
bear her off,' to denote the holy velocity of the Divine 
Spirit, in being beforehand in making this Spouse His 
own, before Lucifer should take possession of her. 

Finally, I wish to conclude this discourse, which I 
have prolonged beyond the limits of the others, because 
our Congregation has this Blessed Virgin Mary, pre- 

"* Adolesoentalaram noo Mt nnmerni. Una est oolamba mea; pcr fe cta 
mm, una est matris sme. — Cant vi 7, 8. 

** Gratia plena : et bene plena, quia oeteris per partes prsestatar: Marin 
wio simal se tota infadit plenitudo gratis. — Serm. de Asiump. B. M, V. 
iKL cp. 8. Hieron. 

** Anima B. Virginis ita fait plena, qpod ex ea refiin^t gretia in camem. 
■I de ipea oonciperet Denm.— Oputc. viiL 

*> Simol collecta gratis plenitudo, nulla tenos oreatnne humans oapao'tate 
potest apprehendi . . . privilegio . . . Filii sui, supra totius oreaturs me* 
ritum Mater Dei, aspersione Spiritus Sanoti, tota Deitatis gratia est perfusa. 
"^Ltb. de Panib. cap. xii. 

** A Deo eleotam et pneeleotam, totam earn xaptoms maX albi Spirit 
fiaaotaa.— <SenB. de AnnwU. B. M. V 

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cisely under the title of her Immaculate Conception, for 
its principal Patroness : I say that I wish to conclude 
by giving, in a& few words as possible, the reasons 
which make me feel certain, and which, in my opinion, 
ought to convince every one, of the truth of so pious a 
belief, and which is so glorious for the Divine Mother: 
that is, that she was free from original sin. 

There are many doctors who maintain tlat Mary 
wag exempted from contracting even the d6bt of sin ; 
for instance. Cardinal Galatino,^ Cardinal Cusano," 
De Ponte,^ Salazar,^ Cahtarinus,^ Novarino,^ Viva** 
De Lugo,^ Egidio,* Richelib, and others. And this 
opinion is also probable; for if it is true that the wills of 
all men were included in that of Adam, as being the head 
of all, and this opinion is maintained as probable by 
Gronet,^ Habert,* and others, founded on the doctrine 
of Saint Paul, contained in the fifth chapter to the 
Romans.* If this opinion, I say, is probable, it ib also 
probable that Mary did not contract the debt of sin ; 
for whilst God distinguished her from the common of 
men by so many graces, it ought to be piously believed 
that He did not include her will in that of Adam. 

This opinion is only probable, and I adhere to it as 
being more glorious for my sovereign Lady. But I con- 
sider the opinion that Maiy did not contract the sin of 
Adam as certain ; and it is considered so, and even as 
proximately definable as an article -of faith (as they 
express it), by Cardinal Everard, Duval,* Raynauld,'' 
Lossado,' Viva,® and many others. I omit, however, 
the revelations which confbm this belief, particularly 
tiiose of Saint Bridget, which were approved of by 

*9 De Area, lib. tIL pasgim. 
•* Lib. viii. Exoit ex. Serm. Sicut ML lot gp." 
•* Lib. ii. Cant ex. 10. »« Pro Imm. C!one. o. 7. 

^ De Pace, oriff. o. ult •• Umbr. Virg". Exoonnii xyIH. 

» P. viii. disp. i. q. 2. art. 2. » De Inc. d. 7, § 3, 4. 

« De Imm. Cone. 1. 2, q. 4, a. 5. • Clyp. p. 2, tr. 5. d. 7, a. 8. 

* Tr. de Vit et Peoo. o. 7, § 1. 

* Per nnum hominem peocatum in himo mnndom intxayit • . . ia qv 
Ada) omnes pecoayerant. — Bom. y. 12. 

" De Peoc. q. ult a. 7. ^ Piet Logd. erga a. 89. 

* DiM. TbonUit d« Imm. Ck>iio. 'P. S^d-Cq. S.4.8. 

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Cardinal Turreoreraata, and by four sovereign Pontiffii, 
and wliicli are found in various parts of the sixth book 
of her Revelations.^® But on no account can I omit 
the opinions of the holy Fathers on this subject, 
whereby to show their unanimity in conceding this pri- 
vilege to the Divine Mother. Saint Ambrose says 
* Receive me not from Sarah, but from Mary 5 that it 
may be an uncorrupted Virgin, a Virgin free by grace 
from every stain of sin.'^^ Origen, speaking of Mary, 
asserts that ' she was not infected by the venomous 
breath of the serpent.'^^ Saint Ephrem, that ^she 
was immaculate, and remote from all stain of sin.'^' 
An ancient writer, in a sermon, found amongst the 
works of Saint Augustine, on the words " Hail, full 
of grace,'' says, ' By these words the angel shows 
that she was altogether [remark the word ' altoge- 
ther'] excluded from the wrath of the first sentence, 
and restored to the fall grace of blessing.'^* The author 
of an old work, called the Breviary of Saint Jerome, 
affirms that ' that cloud was never in darkness, but sJ- 
ways in light. '^* Saint Cyprian, or whoever may be ine 
author of the work on the 77th Psalm, says, * Kor did 
justice endure that that vcesel of election shoiUd be 
open to common injuries ; ^r being far exalted above 
others, she partook of theic npjjure, not of their sin.^* 
Saint Amphilochius, that ^ A. who formed tlw first 
Virgin without deformity, also made the seconil one 

'• Lfb. vL cap. 12, 49, 55. 

^^ Suiidpe me non ex Sara, eed ex Maria; at inoormpta tii Vlfx«, aed 
rirgo per gratiam ab omni Integra labe peoeati. — Serm. xxii. in P4 oxviii. 
Ao. 90. 

" Nee lerpentis Tenenosis afflatibiis iufeota est. — ^7» Div, Horn. a. 

1* Immaoulata et intemerata, incomipta et prursni pudioa, atqae ab 
omni sorde ac labe peoeati alienissima.— .id S. Dei Oen, OraL 

^ Cum dixit "gratia plena," ostendit ex integro iram exolnaam prima 
•ententie,et plenam benediotionif gratiam reititatam. — Int. op. S. AugusUni, 
Serm. xxiii. ed. B. app. 

" Nnbem levem debemui lanetam Mariam accifiere . . . Et dedoxit eoi 
In nnbe dieL Pulchre dixit, diei : nubes enim ilia non ftiit In tenebria, Md 
temper in Ince.—Brev. S. Hieron, in Pt. Ixxvii. 

>* Neo tnetinebat jostitia. nt illnd ras electlonit oommnnlbna laaMMtot 
i^JnriJa ; qnoniam, plarimam a oaterii differeni, natnm oommnoioaba;^ n/m 
•qlpa.— Zte Cur. ChrigUm 

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without spot or Aa.^'' Saint Sopbronius, that 'ihe 
Virgin is therefore called immaculate, for in nothing 
was she corrupt.'" Saint Ildephonsus argues, that * it is 
evident that she was free from original sin.'^^ Saint 
John Damascen says, that * the serpent never had any 
acoesB to tbis paradise.'^ Saint Peter Damian, thak 
* tbe flesh of the Virgin, taken from Adam, did not ad- 
mit of the stain of Adam.'*^ Saint Bruno affirms, 
^thkt Mary is that uncorrupted earth which God 
blessed, and was therefore free from all contagion of 
sin.'® Saint Bonaventure, 'that our Sovereign Lady 
was fall of preventing grace for her sanctification 5 that 
is, preservative grace against the corruption of original 
mn.^ Saint Bernardino of Sienna argues, that ' it is not 
to be believed that He, the Son of God, would be bom 
of a Virgin, and take her flesh, were she in the slightest 
degree stained with original sin.'*^ Saint Lawrence 
Justinian affirms, ' that she was prevented in blessings 
from her very conception.'^ And the blessed Ray- 
mond Jordano, on the words " Thou hast found grace," 
says, ' thou hast found a singular grace, most sweet 
Virgin, that of preservation from original sin,' &c.* 
And many other Doctors speak in the same sense. 

^ Qui antiqnam illam Tii^nem sine probro condidit ; ipse et secandaa 
rine nota et crimine fEtbricatos est — Orat. in S. Deip. et Simeon, 

** Virgo sanota accipittif, et anima oorposque sanctificator ; atque ite 
ministrayit in inoarnatione Creatoris, at mnnda et casta atque incontami* 
nata ... Ex inTioIabili namque et virginal! sanguine atque immaoulata 
Virginis Maris Verbum vere fkotum est incamatum. — Sarduin. torn. iU. 
Oonc. (Ecumen. 6, act 11. 

1* Constat, earn ab omni original! peocato immunem ftiisse.— C^ont din^ 
4e Virginia B. V. M. 

^In hunoparadismn serpenti aditum non patnit, — Or, ii. de NaL B. JV. F. 

*i Caro . . . Virginis ex Adam assompta, macnlas Ada non admisit.— 
Merm. de Assump. D. M. V. 

*> Hseo est . . . incorrupta terra ilia, cul benelixit Dominus, ab cmni 
pfoptbrea peccati contagione libera, per quam yitse viam agnovimus, et piO' 
aissam yeritatem accepimus. — In Ps. ci. 

*> OoiLina nostra ftiit plena gratia praeveniente in sua sanctificatione, gratia 
tellioet pneservatiTa o. intra fceditatem originalis culpue. — Semt. ii. deBJi. V 

** Non est oredendum, quod ipse Filius Dei voluerit nasoi ex virgice, et 
gnmere ejus oamem, quae esset maoulata ex aliquo peocato originali. — Sarm, 
xUx. in Feria m. post PaschcL. 

** Ab ipsa namque sui oonceplione, in benediotionibos est pneTentai* 
Btnn. in Annunt. B. M. V, 

** Invenisti, Virgo Maria, gratiam ccelestem ; quia fberant in t« ab oA^ 
^^tai» labe poBterratio, too.-'OontmfiL deB. V.M. ctff, jL 

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bat finally there are two argomen^a that conclu' 
sively prove the truth of this pioua belief. The first 
of these is the universal concurrence of the faithful. 
Father Egidius, of the Presentation,^ assures us that 
all the religious orders follow this opinion 5 and a mo- 
dem author tells us that though there are ninety-two 
writers of the order of Saint Dominic against it, never- 
theless there are a hundred and thirty-six in favour of 
it, even in that religious body. But that which above 
all should persuade us that our pious belief is in accord- 
ance with the general sentiment of Catholics, is that we 
are assured of it in the celebrated bull of Alexander 
VII. , 'SoUicitudo omnium ecclesiarum,' published in 
1661, in which he says, ' This devotion and homage 
towards the Mother of God was again increased and 
propagated. ... so that the universities having adopted 
this opinion' (that is, the pious one) ' already nearly all 
Catholics have embraced it.'^ And in fact this ophiion 
is defended in the universities of the Sorbonne, Alcala, 
Salamanca, Coimbra, Cologne, Mentz, Naples, and 
many others, in which all who take their degrees are 
obliged to swear that they will defend the doctrine of 
Mary's Immaculate Conception. The learned Petavius 
mainly rests his proofs of the truth of this doctrine on 
the argument taken from the general sentiment of the 
faithful.*^ An argument, writes the most learned bishop 
Julius Tomi,^ which cannot do otherwise than con- 
vince ; for, in fact, if nothing else does, the general 
consent of the faithful makes us certain of the sanctifi- 
cation of Mary in her mother's womb, and of her 
Assumption, in body and soul, into heaven. Why, then, 
should not the same general feeling and belief, on the 
part of the faithful, «3so make us certain of her Im- 
maculate Conception t 

^ De Imm. Cone. 1. 3, q. 6, a. 3. 

* Aueta mrans et propagata MX pletas h»o et onlttu erga Deipanm .. 
Ha nt accedentibus quoque plerisqne celebrioribas aoademily (id bane 4tVr 
tentiam, jam fere omnes Catholid earn ampleotantar. 

» Tom. V. lib. 14, cap. 2. no. 10. 

•• no.8.t 

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The second readon, and wbicli is stronger than tb6 
first; that convinces us that Mary was exempt from 
original sin, is the celebration of her Immaculate Con 
ception commanded hy the universal Church. And on 
this subject I see, on the one hand, that the Churcb 
celebrates the first moment in which her soul wai 
created and infused into her body : for this was de- 
clared by Alexander VII., in the above-named bull, 
in which he says that the Church gives the same 
worship to Mary in her Conception, which is given to 
her by those who hold the pious belief that she was 
conceived without original sin. On the other hand, I 
bold it as certain, that the Church cannot celebrate 
anything which is not holy, according to the doctrine 
of the holy Pope Saint Leo,'^ and that of the Sove- 
reign Pontiff Saint Eusebius ; 'In the Apostolic See the 
Catholic religion was always preserved spotless.'^ AH 
theologians, with Saint Augustine,^ Saint Bernard,^ 
and Saint Thomas, agree on this point ; and the latter, 
to prove that Mary was sanctified before her birth, 
makes use of this very argument : ' The Chm'ch cele- 
brates the nativity of the Blessed Virgin ; but a feast 
is celebrated only for a Saint : therefore the Blessed 
Virgin was sanctified in her mother's womb.^ But 
if it is certain, as the angelic Doctor says, that Mary 
was sanctified in her mother's womb, because it is only 
on that supposition that the Church can celebrate her 
nativity, why are we not to consider it as equally cer- 
tain that Mary was preserved from original sin from 
the first moment of her conception, knowing as we do, 
that it is in this sense that the Church herself cele- 
brates the feast ? And finally, in confirmation of thia 
great privi]ege of Mary, we may be allowed to add the 
well-known innumerable and prodigious graces that our 

«^ Ep. Decret. iv. c. 2. - 

" In sede Apostolioa extra maoulam semper eet Oatholica servata religio. 
.-Peer. xxiv. no. 1, c. in gecU. t 

33 g. 310-314-^. B. »« Ep. ad Can. Ludg. 

"^ EccIeBia oelebrat nativitatem Beataa Virginia : non antem oelebrotav 
feetam in EccleAia nisi pro aliquo sancto : orgo Beata Virgo in ipsa sua natl* 
Tit»te teit saaotik; foit ofo in ateio sMiotiftoate.— 3 p. ^. zxviL uL U 

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Lord is daily pleased to dispense throughout the king- 
dom of Naples, by means of the pictures of her Immacu- 
late Conception. I could refer to many which passed, 
80 to say, through the hands of fathers of our own Con- 
gregation 'j but I will content myself with two which 
are truly admirable. 


A woman came to a house of our little Congrega- 
tion in this kingdom to let one of the fathers know 
that her husband had not been to confession for many 
years, and the poor cr^eaturc could no longer tell by 
what means to bring him to his duty ; for if she named 
confession to him, he beat her. The father told her to 
give him a picture of Mary Immaculate. In the even- 
ing the woman once more begged her husband to go to 
confession ; but as he as usual turned a deaf ear to her 
entreaties. She gave him the picture. Behold ! he had 
scarcely received it, when he said, ^ Well, when will 
you take me to confession, for I am willing to go 1 
The wife, on seeing this instantaneous change, began 
to weep for joy. In the morning he really came to 
our church, and when the father asked him how long 
it was since he had been to confession, he answered 
twenty-eight years. The father again asked him what 
had induced hun to come that morning. ' Father,' he 
replied, ' I was obstinate ; but last night my wife gave 
me a picture of oujr Blessed Lady, and in the same mo- 
ment I felt my heart changed, so much so, that during 
the whole night every moment seemed a thousand years, 
■o great was my desire to go to confession.' He then 
confessed his sins with great contrition, changed his 
life, and continued for a long time to go frequently to 
confession to the same father. 

In another place, in the diocese of Salerno, in 
which we were giving a mission, there was a man who 
bore a great hatred to another who had offended him. 
One of our fathers spoke to him that he might be re- 
()oiiGiled 3 but he answered : ^ Father, did you evar m^ 

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S82 01^ liAitT^s TTvnffActrLATE coKcEFCiair* 

me at the sermons t No, and for this very reason, I 
do not go. I know tliat I am damned ; but nothing 
else will satisfy me, I must have revenge.' The father 
did all that he could to convert him ^ but seeing that 
he lost his time, he said, ^ Here, take this picture of 
our Blessed Lady/ The man at first replied, ^ But 
what is the use of this picture V But no sooner had 
he taken it, than, as if he had never refused to be re- 
conciled, he said to the missionary, ^ Father, is anything 
else required besides reconciliation t — I am willing.' 
The following morning was fixed for it. When, how- 
ever, the time came, he had again changed, and would 
do nothing. The father offered him another picture, 
but he refosed it j but at length, with great reluctance^ 
took it, when, behold ! he scarcely had possession of it 
than he immediately said, * Now let us be quick j where 
is Mastrodati f and he was instantly reconciled with 
him, and then went to confession. 


Ah, my Immaculate Lady ! I rejoice with thee on 
seeing thee enriched with so great purity. I thank, 
and resolve always to thank, our common Creator for 
having preserved thee from every stain of sin ; and 
I firmly believe this doctrine, and am prepared and 
swear even to lay down my life, should this be neces- 
sary, in defence of this thy so great and singular privi- 
lege of being conceived immaculate. I would that the 
whole world knew thee and acknowledged thee aM 
being that beautiful ^ Dawn' which was always illu- 
mined with Divine light; as that chosen ^ Ark' of salva- 
tion, free from the common shipwreck of sin ; that per- 
fect and immaculate ^ Dove' which thy Divine Spouse 
declared thee to be : that ' enclosed Garden' which 
was the delight of God ; that ^ sealed Fountain' whose 
waters were never troubled by an enemy ; and finally, 
as that 'white Lily,' which thou art, and who, 
Uiough bom in the midst of the thorns of the ohildreii 

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of Adam, all of wliom are conceived in mn, and the 
enemies of God, wast alone conceived pure and spoi 
less, and in all things the beloved of thy Creator. 

Permit me, then, to praise thee also as thy God Him- 
self has praised thee : " Thou art all fair, and there is 
not a spot in thee."* most pure Dove, all fair, all 
beautiful, always the friend of God. " how beautiful 
art thou, my beloved i how beautiful art thou 1"*'^ Ah, 
most sweet, most amiable, immaculate Mary, thou who 
art so beautiful in the eyes of thy Lord, — ah, disdain 
not to cast thy compassionate eyes on the wounds of 
my soul, loathsome as they are. Behold me, pity me, 
heal me. beautiful loadstone of hearts, draw also 
my miserable heart to thyself. thou, who from the 
first moment of thy life didst appear pure and beautiful 
before God, pity me, who not only was bom in sin, but 
have again since baptism stained my soul with crimes. 
What grace will God ever refuse thee, who chose thee 
for His daughter. His Mother, and Spouse, and there- 
fore preserved thee from every stain, and in His love 
preferred thee to all other creatures t I will say, in the 
words of Saint Philip Neri, ^ Immaculate Virgin, thou 
hast to save me.' Grant that I may always remember 
thee ; and thou, do thou never forget me. The happy 
day, when I shall go to behold thy beauty in Paradise, 
seems a thousand years off; so much do I Icng to 
praise and love thee more than I can now do, my 
Mother, my Queen, my beloved, most beautiful, most 
sweet, most pure, Immaculate Mary. Amen. 

** Toita4mlohm ei, amioa mea, et idmiJa noa ait in to * O mifL If. T 
* Qpmm pnlohia et, amioi mm, quam paUdia m I— Jk 1* 

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Mary was eom a Saint, and a great Saint; for Hm 
grace with which God enriched her from the he- 
ginning was great, and the fidelity with which she 
immediacy corresponded with it was great, 

Hbn nsaally oelebrate the birth of their children with 
great feasts and rejoicings ) but they should rather 
pity them, and show signs of mourning and grief on 
renecting that they are bom, not only deprived of 
grace and reason, but worse than this — ^they are In- 
fected with sin and children of wrath, and therefore 
condemned to misery and death. It is indeed right, 
however, to celebrate with festivity and universal joy 
the birth of our infant Mary j for she first saw the 
light of this world a baby, it is true, in point of age,^ 
but great in merit and virtue. Mary was bom a Saint, 
and a great Saint. But to form an idea of the great- 
ness of her sanctity, even at this early period, we must 
consider, first, the greatness of the first grace with 
which God enriched her ; and secondly, the greatness 
of her fidelity in immediately corresponding with it. 

First point — To begin with the first point, it is 
certain that Mary's soul was the most beautiful that 
God had ever created : nay more, after the work of the 
Incamation of the Eternal Word, this was the greatest 
and most worthy of Himself that an omnipotent God 
ever did in the world. Saint Peter Damian calls it ^a 
work only surpassed by Grod.'^ Hence it follows that 

> VIdebis ouidquid xds&qm eit, xninoi Viwine, •olomque opiiiOAm gMi 

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O*' TSB 6IBTH Ot liABT. 265 

Divine grace did not come into Mary by drops as in 
other Saints, " but like rain on the fleece,''* as it was 
foretold by David. The soul of Mary was like fleece, 
and imbibed the whole shower of grace, without losing 
a drop. Saint Basil of Seleucia says, ' that the holy 
Virgin was full of grace, because she was elected and 
pre€lected by God, and the Holy Spirit was about to 
take full possession of her.'® ^ Hence she said, by the 
lips of Ecclesiasticus, " My abode is in the full assem* 
bly of saints f^ that is, as Saint Bonaventure explains 
it, ^ I hold in plenitude all that other Saints have held 
in part.'* And Saint Vincent Ferrer, speaking par- 
ticularly of the sanctity of Mary before her birth, says 
' that the Blessed Virgin was sanctified ' (surpassed in 
sanctity) ^ in her mother's womb above all Saints imd 

The grace that the Blessed Virgin received exceeded 
not only that of each particular Saint, but of all the 
angels and saints put together, as the most learned 
Father Francis Pepe, of the Society of Jesus, proves 
in his beautiful work on the greatness of Jesus and 
Mary.''^ And he asserts that this opinion, so gloiiouB 
for our Queen, is now genemlly admitted, and con- 
sidered as beyond doubt by modem theologians (such 
as Carthagena, Suarez, Spinelli, Recupito, and Guerra, 
who have professedly examined the question, and this 
was never done by the more ancient theologians). And 
besides this he relates, that the Divine Mother sent 
Father Martin Guttierez to thank Father Suarez, on 
her part, for having so courageously defended this 
mo^ probable opinion, and which, according to Father 

* Detoendtft aioiit plnria in velliu.—P*. Izxi. 6. 

' Gratia plena, quia a Deo eleotam at pneelectam, totam earn raptnnit 
•lat Spiritns Sanotiu, et ccelestibas insignitonu ornamentus.— i>t Ann mnL 

^ In plenitndine sanotonun detentio mea. — Bed, xxiy. 16. 

* Totum teneo in plenitndine, quod alii sancti tenent in part«k— iSerMk iiL 

* Snper aUos omnet eft lanotiftoati* Vinrinit MaiAm^-^Strm, in JML dm* 
m». B. M. F. 

'Tem.Sii.lMt.19S r 

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286 or THB BIBTS or KABt. 

Segneri, in his ' Client of Mary/ was afterwards be* 
lieved and defended by the University of Salamanca. 
But if this opinion is general and oertain, the othei 
is also very probable j namely, that Maiy received this 
gracO; exceeding that of all men and angels together, in 
the first instant of her Immaculate Conception. F** 
ther Suarez^ strongly maintains this opinion, as do also 
Father Spinelli,* Father Eecupito,^® and Father la 
Colombiere.^ But besides the authority of theolo- 
gians, there are two great and convincing arguments, 
which sufficiently prove the correctness of the above 
opinion. The furst iS; that Mary was chosen by Grod 
to be the Mother of the Divine Word. Hence Denis 
the Carthusian says,^ 'that as she was chosen to an 
order superior to that of all other creatures (for in a 
certain sense the dignity of Mother of Grod, as Father 
Suarez asserts,^^ belongs to the order of hypostatic 
union), it is reasonable to suppose that from the very 
beginning of her life gifts of a superior order were 
conferred upon her, and such gifts, that they must 
have incomparably surpassed those granted to all other 
creatures. And indeed it cannot be doubted that when 
the Person of the Eternal Word was, in the Divine 
decrees, predestined to make Himself man, a Mother 
was also destined for Him, from whom He was to take 
His human nature ; and this Mother was our infant 
Mary. Now Saint Thomas teaches that ' Grod gives 
evOTy one grace proportioned to the dignity for which 
He destines him.'^^ And Saint Paul teaches us the 
same thing when he says, ^* Who also hath made us 
fit ministers of the New Testament f^^ that i% the 
apostles received gifts from God, proportioned to the 
greatness of the office with which they were chaiffed. 
Saint Bernardino of Sienna adds^ Hhat it is an axiom 

• De Ino. p. S, d. 4, $ 1. • IL Detp. o. 4. 

M B\gn. Pnsd. 3. " Imm. Cone. •. 1. 

u De Laud. V. L 1-3, poMim. >*DeIno.p.9,d.l,&i. 

M Unioniqae a Deo datar goMtL, laoiindma hoc ad qood •UgitOiD— 9f 
a. xz^ii. art S» ad L 
» <)al i* Idoneot oof iMt mlidftiot Mori TMtamaoiL-a Ckr. IlL a 

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OF THE BIBTH 01* KABt. 287 

in tlieology, that when a person is chosen by God for 
any state, he receives not only the dispositions neoea- 
sary for it, but even the ffifts which he needs to sustain 
that state with decoram.'^ But as Mary was chosen to 
be the Mother of God, it was quite becoming that God 
shoild adom her, in the first moment of her existence, 
with an immense grace, and one of a superior order to 
that of all other men and angels, since it had to corre- 
spond with the immense and most high dignity to yhich 
God exalted her. And all theologians come to this oon- 
clasion with Saint Thomas, who says, Hhe Blessed Vir- 
gin was chosen to be the Mother of God 5 and therefore 
it is not to be doubted but that God fitted her for it 
by His Grace ;'" so much so, that Mary, before becom- 
ing Mother of God, was adorned with a sanctity so per- 
fect that it rendered her fit for this great dignity. The 
holy Doctor says, ' that in the Blessed Virgin there 
was a preparatory perfection, which rendered her fit to 
be the Mother of Christ, and this was the perfection of 

And before making this last remark the Saint had 
said,^^ that Mary was called full of grace, not on the 
part of grace itself, for she had it not in the highest 
possible degree, since even the habitual grace of Jesus 
Christ (according to the same holy Doctor) was not 
such, that the absolute power of God could not have 
made it greater, although it was a grace sufficient for 
the end for which His humanity was ordained by the 
Divine Wisdom, that is, for its union with the Person 
of the Eternal Word: Although the Divine power 
3ould make something greater and better than the 

" Regula firma est in laora theol(^^ qaod onandoonnqne Dem p«r 
cnttiam aliquem eligit ad aliquem fttatanif omnia dona illi dispenaat atque 
laigitnr, qvm illi statni neceasaria aunt, et illtun copiose decorant— in 
Purific. B. M. r. Senn. i. 

17 Beata Virflro Mt electa divinitos, H^ esset Ifater Dei : et ideo non etk 
dabitandam qmn DeoB per Buain gratiam earn ad hoc idoneam reddidit— 
P. 3, q. xxyii. art 4, ooncl. 

i« In Beata Virgine ftiit . . . perfeotio . . . qoasi diipositiya, per anaia 
reddebator idonea ad hoc, qnod esset Ifater Chrii ti ; et h»o Mi perraott* 
■anctiflcationifl. — lb. art 5, ad 3. 

» ib. art 10 ad 1. 

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habitual grace of Cbrist, it could not fit it for any- 
tliing gi'eater tban the personal union with the only- 
begotten Son of the Father, and with which union 
that measure of grace sufficiently corresponds, accord- 
ing to the limit placed by Divine Wisdom.'^ For the 
same angelic Doctor teaches that the Divine power is 
BO great, that, however much it gives, it can always 
give more ; and although the natural capacity of crea- 
tmes^ is in itself limited as to receiving, so that it can 
be entirely filled, nevertheless its power to obey the 
Divine will is illimited, and God can alwavs ftll it 
more by increasing its capacity to receive. 'As far as 
its natural capacity goes, it can be filled j but it cannot 
be filled as far as its power of obeying goes.*^^ But 
now to return to our proposition, Saint Thomas says, 
that the Blessed Virgin was not filled with grace, as 
to grace itself, nevertheless she is called full of grace 
as to herself, for she had an immense grace, one which 
was sufficient, and corresponded with her immense 
dignity, so much so that it fitted her to be the Mother 
of God : ' The Blessed Virgin is full of grace, not witt 
the fulness of grace itself, for she had not grace in the 
highest degree of excellence in which it tjan be had, 
nor had she it as to all its effects ; but she was said to 
be full of grace as to herself, because she had sufficient 
gi'ace for that state to which she was chosen by God, 
that is, to be the Mother of His only-begotten son.'** 
Hence Benedict Fernandez says, Hhat the measure 

^ Virtus dirina licet possit fiaoere aliqnid majns et melius qnam M 
habitualis gratia Ghristi, non tamen posset facere, quod ordinaretur ad 
aliquid majus qnam sit unio personalis ad Filium nnigeni^um a Patre; cui 
nniuni sufficienter oorrespondet talis mensura gratise, secundum definitionem 
DiviniB Sapientiae.— P. 3, q. vii. art. 12, ad 2. 

*' Est duplex potentia creaturse ad recipiendum. Una naturalis, quie 
]K)test tota impleri. quia hseo non se extendit nisi ad perfeotiones naturales. 
Alia est potentia obedientise, secundum quod potest recipere aliquid a Deo; 
et talis capacitas non potest impleri, quia quidquid Deus de creature faciat, 
adhuc remanet in potentia recipiendia Deo. — Jfe VeriL q. xxiz. (dt Grat. C*) 
art. 3, ad 3. 

** Beata Virgo dicta est plena gratia, non ex parte ipsius gratisB, quia 
non habuit gretiam in summa excellentia qua potest haberi, nee ad omnes 
effectnsgmtioi ; sed dicitur fuisse plena gratia per comparationem ad ipsam, 
quia scilicet habebat gratiam sufficientem ad statum ilium ad quern erai 
#l«€ta a Deo, ut estet soilicet Mater Unigeniti ejua.~3 p. q* tIL ailK^ ad L 

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whereby we may know the greatness of the graoe 
comraanicated to Mary is her dignity of Mother of 

It was not without reason, then, that David said 
that the foundations of this city of God, that is, Mary, 
me planted above the summits of the mountains: 
" The foundations thereof are in the holy mountains.''^ 
Whereby we are to understand that Mary, in the very 
beginning of her life, was to be more perfect than the 
united perfections of the entire lives of the Saints 
could have made her. And the Prophet continues: 
" The Lord loveth the gates of Sion above all the 
tabernacles of Jacob.'^ And the same King David 
tells us why God thus loved her ; it was because He 
was to become man in her virginal womb : " A man is 
bom in her.''^ Hence it was becoming that God 
should give this Blessed Virgin, in the very moment 
that He created her, a grace corresponding with the 
dignity of Mother of God. 

Isaias signified the same thing, when he said that, 
in a time to come, a mountain of the house of the Lord 
(which was the Blessed Virgin) was to be prepared 
on the top of all other mountains ; and that, in con- 
sequence, all nations would nm to this mountain to 
receive the Divine mercies. " And in the last days 
the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be pre- 
pared on the top of mountains, and it shall be exalted 
above the hills, and all nations shall flow unto it/^ 
Saint Gregory, explaining this passage, says, ^ It is a 
mountain on the top of mountains ; for the perfection 
of Mary is resplendent above that of all the Saints.'^ 
And Saint John Damascen, that it is - ^ a mountain in 

*> SeooiMlnin dignitatem FiKi, MatrU illinB sanotitas requiicbatur.— Jto 
©«. cap. xxvii. sect. 3, No. 10. 

** Fundamenta ejus in montibus Sanctis. — Ps. Ixxxvi. 1. 

** Diligit Dominus portas Sion sai)er omnia tabernacula Jacob.— J6. i. 

* Homo natus est in ea. — lb. 5. 

" Et erlt in novissimis diebus prseparatus mons domus Domini in yertio* 
moxitium, et elevabitur siH>er colles, et fluent ad eum omnes gentes. — Ifu i\, S. 

28 Mons qoippe in vertice montium Aiit, qoia altitado Maria iupn c 
•raetos r«ftilsit.7-Iiib. 1. in 1 Meg. cap. 1. 

W ^ . . 

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wlilcli God was well pleased to dwell.'^ Therefore 
Mary was called a cypress, but a cypress of Mount 
Sion : she was called a cedar, but a cedar of Libanus : 
an olive-tree, but a fair olive-tree;^ beautiful, but 
beautiful as the sun f^ for as Saint Peter Damian said, 
'As the light of the sun so greatly surpasses that of the 
stars, that in it they are no longer visible 5 it so over- 
whelms them, that they are as if they were not f^ 
' so does the great Virgin Mother surpass in sanctity 
Ae whole court of heaven.'^ So much so that Saint 
Bernard elegantly remarks, that the sanctity of Mary 
was 80 sublime, that * no other Mother than Mary be- 
came a God, and no other Son than God became 

The second argument by which it is proved that' 
Mary was more holy in the first moment of her exist- 
ence than all the Saints together, is founded on the 
great office of mediatress of men, with which she was 
charged from the beginning ; and which made it neces- 
sary that she should possess a greater treasure of grace 
from the beginning than all other men together. It is 
well known with what unanimity theologians and holy 
fathers give Mary this title of Mediatress, on account 
of her having obtained salvation for all, by her powerful 
intercession and merit, so called of congruity, thereby 
procuring the great benefit of redemption for the lost 
world. By her merit of congruity, I say ; for Jesus 
Christ alone is our Mediator by way of justice and by 
merit, ' de condigno,' as the scholastics say, He having 
offered His merits to the Eternal Father, who accepted 
them for our salvation. Mary, on the other hand, is a 
mediatress of grace, by way of simple intercession and 

* Mom in quo beneplaoitum est Deo habitare tn eo.— Horn. L in Nai, 

B M.r. 

» BccL xadv. 17-19. « Cant vL 9. 

" Sibi sideram et lane rapit positionem, at sint qnari n<m i^t, et Tided 
noD possnnt. — iS^erm. dt Assump, B. M. F. 

** Sio et Virgo inter animus sanctorum et angelonun ohorof iuperemk 
nens et evecta, merita singulorum et omnium titulos anteoedit — ^/&. 

** Neqne enim Filins alius Virginem, nee Deam deooit partiu idter * 
aeroL iv. in Asswmp. B, 4f. F. 

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01* THB BntTH 01* ICABY. 291 


merit of congruity, she having offered to God, as tbeo- 
lo^ans saji with Saint Bonaventure, Iier merits, for 
the salvation of all men ; and God, as a favour, ac- 
cepted them with the merits of Jesus Christ. On this 
account Arnold of Ghartres says that ' she effected oar 
salvation in common with Christ.'^ And Richard of 
Saint Victor says that ' Mary desired, sought, and ob- 
tained the salvation of all ; nay, even she effected the 
-salvation of all.'* So that everything good, and every 
gift in the order of grace, which each of the Saints 
received from God, Mary obtained for them. 

And the holy Church wishes us to understand this, 
when she honours the Divine Mother by applying the 
following verses of Ecclesiasticus to her : " In me is all 
grace of the way and the tmth.'^ ' Of the way,' be 
cause by Mary all graces are dispensed to wayfarers. 
* Of the truth,' because the light of truth is imparted 
by her. " In me is all hope of life and of virtue."* 
' Of life,' for by Mary we hope to obtain the life of 
grace in this world, and that of glory in heaven. 
'And of virtue,' for through her we acquire virtues, 
and especially the theological virtues, which are the 
principal virtues of the Saints. " I am the Mother of 
fair love, and of fear, and of knowledge, and of holy 
hope."* Mary, by her intercession, obtains for her 
servants the gifts of Divine love, holy fear, heavenly 
light, and holy perseverance. From which Saint Ber- 
nard concludes that it is a doctrine of the Church, 
that Mary is the universal mediatress of our salvation. 
He says : 'Magnify the finder of grace, the mediatress 
of salvation, the restorer of ages. This I am taught by 
the Church proclaiming it ; and thus also she teaches 
me to proclaim the same thing to others.'*® 

*" Ad hono beatitadinis onmiilnm Virgo sancta devenerit, at omn Ghriiito 
•ommimem in salute mandi effectmn obtineat. — Dt Laud. B. M. V. 

**Oicniiun salutem desideravit, qiuesivit, et obtinuit : imo salus omniiim 
per inam facta est, nnde et mondi salus dicta est. — In Cant. cap. xzyL 

" ULjne gratia omnia vita et veritatis. — Eocl. xxiv. 25. 

«> In- me omnii ipes Tit« et Tirtutis. — lb, 

» Effo mater polchnB dilectionis, et timoriB, et agnitionit, et sanotB ipel 

^ ^ MjifiiiikMt fialte inyentxioem, maditatri—m laloti^ MftanratrloMi t» 

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Saint Sophronius, Patriarch of Jerusalem, OBserts 
that the reason for which ihe Archangel Gabriel called 
her full of grace, *^ Hail, full of grace ! ^ was because 
only limited grace was given to others, but it was given 
to Mary in all its plenitude : ' Truly was she full ; for 
grace is given to other Saints partially, but the whole 
plenitude of grace poured itself into Mary.'*^ Saint Basil 
of Seleucia declares that she received this plenitude, 
that she might thus be a worthy mediatress between men 
and God : ' Hail, full of ffrace, mediatress between God 
and men, and by whom heaven and earth are brought 
together and united.'*^ ^ Otherwise,' says Saint Law- 
rence Justinian, ' had not the Blessed Virgin been full 
of Divine grace, how could she have become the ladder 
to heaven, the advocate of the world, and the most true 
mediatress between men and God V^ 

The second argument has now become clear and 
evident. If Mary, as the already destined Mother of 
our common Redeemer, received from the very begin- 
ning the office of mediatress of all men, and conse- 
quently even of the Saints, it was also requisite from 
the very beginning she should have a grace exceed- 
ing that of all the Saints for whom she was to in- 
tercede. I will explain myself more clearly. If, by 
the means of Mary, all men were to render themselves 
dear to God, necessarily Mary was more holy and more 
dear to Him than all men together. Otherwise, how 
could she have interceded for all others 1 That an in- 
tercessor may obtain the favour of a prince for all hia 
vassals, it is absolutely necessary that he should be 

flolonun . . . Heo mihi de ilia oantat eoolesia, et me eadem doonit deoantare. 
•^EpisL cixxiy. ad Can. Ltigd. 

** Ave, inqnit, gratia plena; et bene -nlena, quia ceteris per partetpni* 
ftatnr : Maris vero simul se tota infiidii plenitado gratis.— int op. S. Mier, 
Serm. de AiSMup. B. M. V. 

** Ave gratia plena, Dei ao bominum mediatrix, quo . . . MBletttboi 
terrena ooeant ao uniantur. — OraL in S. Dei Gen. &o. 

^ Qnomodo non est Maria, jnxta Gabrielis oraoulam, plena gratia, qui 
effeota est Mater Dei, paradisi scala, coell janua, interventrix mondi, diasmo- 
Bum fUga, pecoatornm spes, naufragantium portus, maris stella, conA; 
pericUtantium, solamen laborantium, fluctuantium ruber, Dei et bom 
vwlflBima mediatrix I— <Serm^ de ^fuiuii^ S, M, V, 

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more dear to liis prince than all the other yassols. And 
therefore Saint Anselm oondudeSi that Mary deserved 
to be made the worthy repairer of the lost world, be- 
cause she was the most holy and the most pure of all 
creatures. * The pure sanctity of her heart, surpassing 
the purity and sanctity of all other creatures, meriteia 
for her that she should be made the repairer of the lost 

Mary, then, was the mediatress of men ^ it may be 
asked, but how can she be called also the mediatress 
of angels t Many theologians maintain that Jesus Christ 
merited the grace of perseverance for the imgels also | 
so that as Jesus was their mediator ' de condigno/ so 
also Mary may be said to the mediatress even of the 
angels * de congruo^^ she having hastened the oomin|^ 
of the Redeemer by her prayers. At least meritmg ' & 
congnuf to become the Mother of the Messiah, she 
merited for the angels that the thrones lost by the 
devils should be filled up. Thus she at least merited 
this accidental glory for them ; and therefore Eichard 
of Saint Victor says, 'By her every creature is repaired j 
by her the ruin of the angels is remedied ; and by her 
human nature is reconciled.'** And before him Saint 
Anselm said, ' All things are recalled and reinstated 
in their primitive state by this Blessed Virgin.^ 

So that our heavenly child, because she was ap- 
pointed mediatress of the world, as also because shs 
was destined to be the Mother of the Eedeemer, re~ 
oelved, at the very beginning of her existence, graoe 
exceeding in greatness that of all the Saints together. 
Hence, how delightful a sight must the beautiful soul 
of this happy child have been to heaven and earth, 
although sUU enclosed in her mother's womb ! She 

^ Pan enlm laiiotitas eC Hmctlflsima paritas piifldmi pectoris ejnt, omnflsi 
omnli ereatoifli paritatem rive mnotitatein transoendens, ineomparalrili sab- 
BmHato hoe promendt, at repaiatrix perditi orbis dignissiine fieret^-l^ JB0> 
ctU. Virg, cap. 1 x. 

^ Utraqoa oi^Atora per hano repcurator: ang^lonun miiia per bono f»- 
flMurata es4, et \avum la natora reeonoiliata.— .S^. in Cant, cap. zzUL 

^ CoDota pel ten^ beatissima Viiginem in statom pristliuui wronti 
■ant et iestitat» tK WaodL Yirg, oap. zi. 

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i the moBt amiable creature in the eyes of God, be 
cause rfie was akeady loaded with grace and merit, and 
could say, * When I was a little one I pleased the Most 
High.'*'' And she was at the same time the creature 
of all others that had ever appeared in the world up to 
^ait moment, who loved God the most j so much so, 
diat had Mary been bom immediately after her most 
pure conception, she would have come into the world 
richer in merits, and more holV, than all the Saints 
Bnited. Then let us only reflect how much greater her 
•anctity must have been at her nativity ; coming into 
the world after acquiiing all the merits that she did 
acquire during the whole of the nine months that she 
remained in the womb of her mother. And now let 
U6 pass to the consideration of the second point, that is 
to say, the greatness of the fidelity with which Mary 
immediately corresponded with Divine grace. 

Second point — It is not a private opinion only, 
says a learned author,^ but it is the opinion of all, that 
tlie holy child, when she received sanctifying grace in 
the womb of Saint Anne, received also the p^fect use 
of her reason, and was also divinely enlightwied, in a 
de^e corresponding with the grace with which she was 
enriched. So that we may well believe, that from Ifee 
first moment that her beautiful soul was united to her 
most pure body, she, by the light she had received from 
the Wisdom of Gt)d, knew well the eternal truths, the 
beauty of virtue, and above all, the infinite goodness of 
God y and how much He deserved to be loved by all, 
wid particularly by herself, on account of the singular 
gifts with which He had adorned and distinguished her 
above all creatures, by preserving her from the stain oi 
original sin, by bestowing on her such immense graooi 
and destining her to be the Mother of the Eternal Woid, 
and Queen of the Universe. 

Hence from that first moment Mary, grateful to God, 
began to do all that she could do, by immediately and 

* Onm «Mem parmla plaooi Altissimo. —Zti Fett B, M» S*9P» ^ ^ l^ 

* P. La Ck)IombI^, Imm. Cono. •. S. 

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faitli^lly trafficking with that great capital of grace 
which had been bestowed upon her j and applying her- 
self entirely to please and love the Divine goodness, 
from that moment she lovetl Hitn with all her strength, 
and continued thus to love Him always, during the 
whole of the nine months preceding her birth, during 
which she never ceased for a moment to unite herself 
more and more closely with God by fervent acts of 
love. She was already free from original sin, and 
hence was exempt from every earthly affection, from 
every irregular movement, from every distraction, from 
every opposition on the part of the senses, which could 
in any way have hindered her from always advancing 
more and more in Divine love : her senses also con- 
curred with her blessed spirit in tending towards God. 
Hence her beautiful soul, free from every impediment, 
never lingered, but always flew towards God, always 
loved him, and always increased in love towards Him. 
It was for this reason that she called herself a plane- 
tree, planted by flowing waters : " As a plane-tree by 
the waters . . • was I exalted."*^ For she was that 
noble plant of God which always grew by the streams 
of Divine grace. And therefore she also calls herself 
a vine : "As a vine I have brought forth a pleasant 
odour.'^^^ Not only because she was so humble in the 
eyes of the world, but because she was like the vine, 
which, according to the common proverb, ^ never ceases 
to grow.' Other trees — ^the orange-tree, the mulberry, 
the pear-tree — have a determined height, which they 
attain ; but the vine always grows, and grows to the 
height of the tree to which it is attached. And thus 
did the most Blessed Virgin always grow in perfection. 
* Hail, then, vine, always growing!'^^ says Saint 
Gregory Thaumaturgus ; for she was always united to 
God, on whom alone she depended. Hence it was of 
her that the Holy Ghost spoke, saying, " Who is this 

** Quasi platanus exaltata sum juxta aquam in plateig.— ^ccfe*. xxiv. 1ft 

*•* Ego quasi vitis fiuctiflcavi saavitatem odoris. — Ih. vj 23. 

** Av« i^tia plena, vitis semper yigens.— /n Annunt. B. M. Y, Sens. i. 

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that cometh up from the desert, flowing with delights, 
leaning upon her beloved?''*^ which Saint Ambrose 
thus paraphrases : ' She it is that cometh up, clinging 
to the Eternal Word, as a vine to a vine-stock.'^ Who la 
this accompanied by the Divine Word, that grows as 
a vine planted against a great tree ? 

Many learned theologians say that a soul which 
possesses a habit of virtue, as long as she corresponds 
faithfully with the actual grace which she receives 
from God, always produces an act equal in intensity 
to the habit she possesses : so much so that she ac^ 
quires each time a new and double ment, equal to the 
sum of all the mertis previously acquired. This kind 
of augmentation was, it is said, granted to the angels 
in the time of their probation 5 and if it was granted 
to the angels, who can ever deny that it was granted 
to the Divine Mother when living in this world, and 
especially during the time of which I speak, that she 
was in the womb of her mother, in which she was cer- 
tainly more faithful than the angels in corresponding 
with Divine grace ? Mary, then, during the whole of 
that time, in each moment, doubled that sublime grace 
which she possessed from the first instant 5 for, cor- 
responding with her whole strength, and in the most 
perfect manner in her every act, she subsequently 
doubled her merits in every instant. So that sup- 
posing she had a thousand degrees of grace in the 
first instant, in the second she had two thousand, in 
the third four thousand, in the fourth eight thousand, 
in the fifth sixteen thousand, in the sixth thirty-two 
thousand. And we are as yet only at the sixth in- 
stant ; but multiplied thus for an entire day, multiplied 
for nine months, consider what treasures of grace, merit, 
and sanctity Mary had already acquired at the moment 
of her birth ! 

Let us, then, rejoice with our beloved infant, who 

** Qcue est itta, qvm asoendit de deserto, delioiii afflaeiu, inniza niper co> 
leotam saamt — Cant viii. 5. 

*3 H»o est qnie asottndit itQ at inh«reat Dei Verbo sioat Titif j 
Dt lioac «i An. e. & 

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wae born so holy, so dear to God, and so full of grace. 
And let us rejoice, not only on her account, but also 
on our own ^ for she came into the world ftill of grace, 
not only for her own glory, but also for onr good. 
Saint Thomas remarks, in his eighth treatise, that the 
most Blessed Virgin was full of grace in three ways : 
first, she was filled with grace as to her sonl, so that 
from the beginning her beautiful soul belonged all to 
God. Secondly, she was filled with grace as to her 
body, so that she merited to clothe the Eternal Word 
with her most pure flesh. Thirdly, she was filled with 
grace for the benefit of all, so that all men might par- 
take of it : ' She was also full of grace as to its over- 
flowing for the benefit of all men.'^ The angelical 
Doctor adds, that some Saints have so nrach grace that 
^ is not only sufficient for themselves, but also for the 
salvation of many, though not for all men : only to 
Jesus Christ and to Mary was such a grace given as 
sufficed to save all : ' should any one have as much as 
would suffice for the salvation of all, this would be the 
greatest: and this was in Christ and in the Blessed 
virgin.'^ Thus far Saint Thomas. So that what 
Saint John says of Jesus, "And of His fulness we 
all have received,''* the Saints say of Mary. Saint 
Thomas of Villanova calls her ' full of grace, of whose 
plenitude all receive f^ so much so that Saint Anselm 
says, ' that there is no one who does not partak^of the 
grace of Mary.'*^ And who is there in the world to 
whom Mary is not benign, and does not dispense some 
mercv t ' Who was ever found to whom the Blessed 
"Virgin was not propitious t Who is there whom her 

** Dtdtnr gratia plena qaantam ad reftisionem in omnes homioM. 

— £bP. tup. SdluL Ang. Oputc TiiL 

"... -Sed qaando haberet tantam de gratia, quod suffloeret ad salatem 
omniain hominam de mnndo, hoc esaet maziinam, et !ioo est in Ohiifto et 
in Beata Virgine.— /&. 

** Et de plenftadiDe ejas noe omnes aooepimns.— Joan. 1 16. 
" "Qt fttia plena," ds ciOtis plenitudine acolpiant universi.— 7« Fut, An- 
iMMit B Jr. F. cone. I. 
* Ita Bl vaStam fit, qui de plenitadine gratisi Yixginlt non tfi paitf 

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1298 OS* THB BIHTH 01* JdAiRY, 

mercy does not reach V*^ From Jesus, however, it is 
(we must understand) that we receive grace as the 
author of grace, from Mary as a mediatressj from 
Jesus as a Saviour, from Mary as an advocate 5 from 
Jesus as a source, from Mary as a channel. 

Hence Saint Bernard says, that God established 
Mary as the channel of the mercies that He wished to 
dispense to men 5 therefore He filled her with grace, 
that each one's part might be communicated to him 
from her fulness : ' A fall aqueduct, that others may 
receive of her fulness, but not fulness itself.'^ There- 
fore the Saint exhorts all to consider, with how much 
love God wills that we should honour this great 
Virgin; since He has deposited the whole treasure of 
His graces in her: so that whatever we possess of 
hope, grace, and salvation, we may thank our most 
loving Queen for all, since all comes to us from her 
hands and by her powerful intercession. He thus 
beautifully expresses Gimself: 'Behold with what 
tender feelings of devotion He wills that we should 
honour her ! He who has placed the plenitude of all 
good in Mary 5 that thus, if we have any hope, or any- 
thing salutary in us, we may know that it was from 
her that it overflowed/^^ Miserable is that soul which 
closes this channel of grace against itself, by neglect- 
ing to recommend itself to Mary J When Holofemes 
wished to gain possession of the city of Bethulia, he 
took care to destroy the aqueducts : " He commanded 
their aqueduct to be cut off.'^^ And this the devil 
does when he wishes to become master of a soul ; he 
causes her to give up devotion to the most Blessed 
Virgin Mary ; and when once this channel is closed, 
fihe easily loses supernatural ligbt, the fear of God, 

* Qnis nnqnam reperiatnr, oui Virgo propitia non sit t quis ad qaem *^m 
nisericordia non se eztendat 1 1 

^ Plenus eqiiidem aquaeductas, ut acoipiant csBteri de { lenitadine, sed 
non plenitudinem ipsam.—Serm. de Aqtued. 

*^ Altins ergo intaemini, quanto devotionis affeotn a nobis earn yolaerit 
bonorari, qui totius boni plenitudinem posuit in Maria : at proinde si quid 
•pd in nobis e^t, si qaid gratise, si quid salutis, ab ea norerimos rediuidw* 
%xm asoendi*. delioiis afSuens.— 76. 

M laddi pneoepit ftqaaBdnotam OlonuL— /iiditA. tU A* 

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01* IHB BIBTH 09 ICABT. i89 

and finally eternal salvation. Bead the following ex- 
ample, in which may be seen how great is the com- 
passion of the heart of Mary, and the destmction thfll 
he biingB on himself who closes this channel against 
himself; by giving np devotion to the Queen of Heaven, 


TrithemiuS;^ Ganisins, and others, relate that in 
Magdeburg, a city of Saxony, there was a man called 
TJdo, who from his youth was so destitute <^ talent, 
that he was the laughing-stock of all his companions. 
One day, more afflicted than usual at his own inoapa- 
city, he went to recommend himseK to the most Blessed 
Virgin, and for this purpose was kneeling before her 
statue. Mary appeared .to him in a vision^ and said, 
' Udo, I will console thee, and not only will I obtain 
thee from God sufficient capacity to free thee from the 
scoffs of others, but, moreover, such talents as to render 
thee an object of wonder; and besides this, I promise 
thee, that after the death of the bishop, thou shalt be 
chosen to fill his place.' All that Mary said was veri- 
fied. Udo made rapid progress in the sciences, and 
obtained the bishopric of that city. But Udo was to 
such a degree ungrateful to God and his benefaotress, 
as to give up every devotion, and became a scandal to 
all. One night, when in bed, he heard a voice which 
said, ' Udo, cease thy wickedness ; thou hast sinned 
enongli.'®* The first time he was enraged at these 
words, thinking it was some one who had concealed 
himself, and thus addressed him for his correction. 
Hearing the same voice a second and a third night, 
he began to fear that it was a voice from heaven. Yet 
with all this he continued his wicked life. After three 
months which God gave him to repent, chastisement 
came, and it was this : a devout canon named Fredmo 
was one night in the church of Saint Maurice, praying 

** Chron. Hilt. IIOL Borlo Ei. • lOr. p. 3^ M. 36^ 3flL 
" Udo, oeiu de lodo : loiiitt latU. 

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tbat God would apply a remedy to the scandal given 
by the prelate, when a violent wind threw open the f 
doors of the church, and two young men entered with 
lighted torches in their hands, stationing themselves 
09 either side of the high altar. Two others followed, 
and extended a carpet before the altar, and placed two 
gulden chairs on it. After this another young man 
came dressed as a soldier, with a sword in his hand, 
and standing in the midst of the church, cried out : 'O 
ye Saints of heaven, whose sacred relics are in this 
church, come and witness the great act of justice about 
to be executed by the Sovereign Judge.' At this cry 
many Saints appeared, and also the twelve Apostles as 
assessors of this judgment ; and finally Jesus Christ 
entered, and seated Himself on one of the chairs that 
had been prepared. Mary then appeared, accompanied 
by many holy virgins, and her Son seated her on the 
other chair. The Judge now commanded the criminal 
ko be brought, and it was the miserable Udo. Saint 
Maurice spoke, and on the part of the scandalized 
people asked that justice should be executed on the 
prelate for his infamous life. All raised their voices 
and exclaimed, ' Lord, he deserves death.' ' Let him 
die immediately,' answered the Eternal Judge. But 
before the execution of the sentence (see how great is 
the compassion of Mary !) the compassionate Mother, 
that she might not assist at that tremendous act of 
justice, left the church ; and then the heavenly minis- 
ter, who entered with a sword amongst the first, ap- 
proached Udo, and with one stroke cut off his bead, 
and all disappeared. All remained in darkness. The 
canon trembling went to get a light from a lamp which 
was burning under the church, and found the decapi- 
tated body of Udo and the pavement all covered with 
blood. On the following morning, when the people 
had assembled in the church, the canon related the 
vision, and the whole history of the horrible tragedy he 
had witnessed. On the same day the miserable Udo 
appeared, in the flames of helL to one of his chaplaiufl^ 

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OT tBJ& BIBTH OF MASt^. 301 

who knew nothing of wliat bad taken place in the 
oliurcli. Udo's dead body was thrown into a marsh, 
and his blood remained on the pavement as a perpetual 
memorial^ and was always kept covered with a carpet. 
From that time forward it became the custom to un 
cover it when a new bishop took possession of his see, 
that at the sight of such chastisement he might learn 
how to regulate his life, and not be ungrateful for the 
graces of our Lord, and those of His most Holy 


O holy and heavenly Infant, Thou who art the des 
tined Mother of my Eedeemer and the great Mediatiess 
of miserable sinners, pity me. Behold at thy feet an- 
other ungrateful sinner who has recourse to thee and 
asks thy compassion. It is true, that for my ingrati- 
tude to God and to thee, I deserve that God and thou 
Bhould abandon me ; but I have heard, and believe it 
to be so (knowing the greatness of thy mercy), that 
thou dost not refuse to help any one who recommends 
himself to theo with confidence. most exalted crea- 
ture in the world ! since this is the case, and since 
there is no one but God above tliee, so that compared 
with thee the greatest Saints of heaven are little ; O 
Saint of Saints, Mary I abyss of charity, and full of 
grace, succour a miserable creature who by bis own 
fault has lost the divine favour. I know that thou art 
so dear to God that He denies thee nothing. I know 
also that thy pleasure is to use thy greatness for the 
relief of miserable sinners. Ah, then, show bow great 
is the favour that thou enjoyest with God, by chain- 
ing me a divine L'ght and flame so powerful tbat I may 
be changed from a sinner into a Saint ; and detaching 
myself from every earthly affection, divine love may 
be enkindled in me. Do this, Lady, for thou canst 
do it. Do it for the love of God, who hap made thee 
80 great, so powerful, and so compassionate. This if 
mj hope. Amen 

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The Offering that Mary made qf herself to GM unm 
prompt without dday^ and entire unthaui reserve. 

Thbkb- never was, and never will be, an ofTering on the 
part of a pure creature greater or more perfect than that 
which Mary made to God when, at the age of three 
years, she presented herself in the temple to offer Him, 
not aromatical spices, nor calves, nor gold, but her en 
tire self, consecrating herself as a perpetual victim in 
His honour. She well understood the voice of God, 
calling her to devote herself entirely to His love, when 
He said, "Arise, make haste, my love, my dovg, my 
beautiful one, and come !"^ Therefore her Lord willed 
that from that time she should forget her country, 
and all, to think only of loving and pleasing Him : 
" Hearken, daughter, and see, and incline thine ear ; 
and forget thy people, and thy father's house.''* She 
with promptitude and at once obeyed the divine calL 
Let us, then, consider how acceptable was this offering 
which Mary made of herself to God ; for it was prompt 
and entire. Hence the two points for our considera 
tion are, first, Mary's offering was prompt and without 
delay ; secondly, it was entire and without reserve. 

First point — ^Mary's offering was prompt. From 
the first moment that thia heavenly child was sancti- 
fied in her mother's womb, which was in the instant of 
her Immaculate Conception, she received the per&ct 

1 Snnre, propera, amioa mea . . . «t TmiL— Ctenl. iL 10. 
* Aum film, et vide, et inolina aanm tnam t ek obliTiaotre popolnm tant 
•t domam patrit toL-^Fi. zUt. U* 

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use of reason, ttat slie miglit begin to merit. This is 
in accordance with the general opinion of theologians, 
and with that of Father Suarez in particular, who says, 
that as the most perfect way in which God sanctifies a 
soul is by its own merit, as Saint Thomas also teaches,^ 
it is thus we must believe that the Blessed Virgin was 
sanctified : J To be sanctified by one's own act is the 
more perfect way. Therefore it is to be believed that 
the Blessed Virgin was thus sanctified.'* And if this 
privilege was granted to the angels, and to Adam, as 
ihe angelic Doctor says,^ much more ought we to be- 
lieve that it was granted to the Divine Mother, on 
whom, certainly, we must suppose that God, having 
condescended to make her His Mother, also conferred 
greater gifts than on all other creatures. ' From her,' 
says the same holy Doctor, ' He received His human 
nature, and therefore she must have obtained a greater 
plenitude of grace from Christ than all others.'^ ^ For 
being a mother,' Father Suarez says, ' she has a sort of 
special right to all the gifts of her Son f^ and as, on 
account of the hypostatic union, it was right that Jesug 
should receive the plenitude of all graces, so, on ac- 
count of the divine maternity, it was becoming that 
Jesus should confer, as a natural debt, greater graces 
on Mary than He granted to all other Saints and 

Thus, fi:om the beginning of her life, Mary knew 
Gk)d, and knew Him so that 'no tongue' (as the angel 
declared to Saint Bridget) 'will ever express how 
clearly this Blessed Virgin understood His greatness 
in that very first moment of her existence.'* ^ And thus 
enlightened, she instantly offered her entire Self to her 

» 3 p. q. xix. art. 3. concL 

* SantiiScari per propriam actum est perfeotior modus. "Ergo credendma 
est hfjc modo fnisse sanottficatam Virginem.— 2>e Incam. p. iL q. zzvii. art €^ 

•i p. q. ixiii. art 5. 

* Ex ea acoepit bumanam natumm : et ideo prse cateris au^orem d«b«lt 
a Christo gratia* plsnitudinem obtiuere. — 3 p. q. xxri. art 5. 

' U^4e tit ut singulare iot habeat ad bona Dei Filii ■oL— 2>e Atoflrn. f. fl. 
%, xxrii, art 1, disp. 1, $ 2. 
* Sem. Ang. oap. zIt. 

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Lord, dedioating herself, without reserve, to His love 
and glory. ' Immediately,' the angel went on to say, 
* our Queen determined to sacrifice her will to God, 
and to give him all her love for the whole of her life. 
No one can understand how entire was the subjection 
in which she then placed her will, and how fully she 
was determined to do all according to His pleasure.^ 
' But the Immac ulate C hild, afterwards understand- 
ing that her holy ^rents/ Joachim and A nne, had pro- 
mised God, even by vow, as many authors relate, that 
if He granted them issue, they would consecrate it to 
His service in the temple; as it was, moreover, an 
ancient custom amongst the Jews to take their daugh- 
ters to the temple, and there to leave tbem for their 
education (for which purpose there were cells contigu- 
ous) as it is recorded by Baronius,^® Nicephorus, Ced- 
renus, and Suarez, with Josephus the Jewish historian 
and also on the authority of Saint John Damascen," 
Saint George of Nicomecia, Saint Anselm,^ and Saint 
Ambrose,^^ and, as we may easily gather from the 
Second book of Machabees, where, speaking of Helio 
dorus, who besieged the temple, that he might gain 
possession of the treasures there deposited, says, " Be- 
cause the place was like to come into contempt. . . . 
and the virgins also that were shut up came forth, 
some to Onias.''^* Mary hearing this, I say, having 
scarcely attained the age of three years, as Saint Ger- 
manus^^ and Saint Epiphanius attest — the latter oi 
whom says, ' In her third year she was brought to the 
temple'^® — ^an age at which children are the most de- 
sirous and stand in the greatest need of their parents' 
care, she desired to offer and solemnly to consecrate 
herself to God, by presenting herself in the temple. 
Hence, of her own accord, she requested her parents 
with earnestness, to take her there, that they might 

• Loo. dt '• Appar. ad Ann. n. 47. 

" De Fide Orth. 1. 4, c 15. » De Form, et Mor. B. M. 

"DeVirgf. lib. i. cap.3. 

^ Pro eo qaod in contemptmn locm esset yentnnu . . . Virginet qiu» 
eonoiuaa erant, procnrrebant ad Oniam.— 2 Maehab. iii. 16, 19. 
I'Eno iBS.Doip. >• Tertio anno oblata ««t in teiii|i]«k 

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thus accomplish their promise. And lier holy mother, 
says Saint Gregory of Nyssa, ^did not lonff delay lead- 
ing her to the temple, and offering her to Grod.'" 

Behold now Joachim and Anne, generously sacri- 
ficing to God the most precious treasure that they poB- 
sessed in the world, and the one which was dearest to 
their h^aii;, setting out from Nazareth, carryii g their 
well-beloved little daughter in turns, for she could not 
otherwise have undertaken so long a journey as that 
from Nazareth to Jerusalem, it being a distance of 
eighty miles, as several authors say. They jwere_ach ; 
companied by few relatives, but choirs "oTangelsj^ ac- . 
cordmg to Saint George of Nicomedia,^® escorted and 
served the Immaculate little Virgin, who was about to 
consecrate herself to the Divine Majesty. " How beau- 
tiful are thy steps, prince's daughter ! "^^ 0, how 
beautiful (must the angels have sung), how acceptable 
to God is thy every step, taken on thy way to present 
and offer thyself to Him ! noble daughter, most be- 
loved of our common Lord ! * God Himself, with the 
whole heavenly court,' says Bernardino de Bustis, 'made 
great rejoicings on that day, beholding his spouse 
coming to the temple.'^ ' For he never saw a more 
holy creature, or one whom he so tenderly loved, come 
to offer herself to him.*^^ ' Go then' (says Saint Ger- 
manus, archbishop of Constantinople), 'go, Queen of 
the world, Mother of God, go joyfully to the house 
of God, there to await the coming of the Divine Spirit, 
who will make thee the Mother of the Eternal Word. 
Enter with exultation the courts of the Lord, in ex- 
pectation of the coming of the Holy Ghost, and the 
Conception of the only-begotten Son of God.*^ 

^ Clam igitxa, onm jam grandinsonla esset, neo nbere matrii ampUai 
indigeret, ducens ad templum Deo reddidit.— Or. in Nat. D. N. J, O, 

" De Oblat Deip. 

» Qoam pulohii mmt grewiii tai in oalceamentiB, filia prindplt I — CtmL 
tIL 1. 

** Magnam qnoqne liMtiTitatem feoii Deos otun angelis, in dedneiioiM 
■lUB iponsa ad templiun. — Marial. p. iv. Serin, i. 

*^ Qnia naUoa unqnam Deo gratior nsque ad illud tempns templnm mm • 
oradit— id. 

^ A\A ifitor Domina Dei Qenitrix, abi at peraiubala Domini aulaf ts> 

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Wlien tbe holy company Lad reached the temple 
tHe fair child turned to her parents, and on her knees 
kissed their hands, and asked their blessing ; and then, 
without again turning back, she ascended the fifteen • 
steps of the temple (according to Arius Montano, quot- 
ing Josephus), and as we are told by Saint Germanus^ 
presented herself to the priest, Saint Zachary. Having 
done this, she bade farewell to the world, and renounc- 
ing all the pleasures which it promises to its votaries, 
fihe offered and consecrated herself to her Creator. 

At the time of the deluge a raven sent out of the 
ark by Noah, remained to feed on the dead bodies j but 
the dove, without resting her foot, quickly " returned 
to him into the ark."^ Many who are sent by God 
into this world unfortunately remain to feed on earthly 
goods. It was not thus that Mary, our heavenly dove, 
acted ; she knew full well that God should be our 
only good, our only hope, our only love ; she knew 
that the world is foil of dangers, and that he who 
leaves it the soonest is freest from its snares : hence 
she sought to do this in her tenderest yeM«, and as 
soon at possible shut herseK up in the sacred retire- 
ment of the temple, where she could better hear His 
voice, and honour and love Him more. Thus did the 
Blessed Virgin in her very first actions render herself 
entirely dear and agreeable to her Lord, as the holy 
Church says in her name : ' Kejoice with me, all ye 
who love God ; for when I was a little one I pleased 
the Most High.'^ For this reason she was likened to 
the moon j for as the moon completes her course with 
greater velocity than the other planets, so did Mary 
attain perfection sooner than all the Saints, by givin 
herself to God promptly and without delay, and mak 

ultani et gandens, edaoatione virens, deqae die in diem ezpeotami Sanotf 
Bpiritas in te adventum, virtutis Altissimi obninbratimieni, et Filii tni oon- 
ceptiooem.^/n Prsuent. Dei Mat. Orat ii. 

ss Qu8B cam non invenisset nbi reqaiesoeret pes ejus, reversa est ad eum 
in area. — Gen, viii. 9. 

^ Congratalamini mihi, omnes qui dili^tis Dominnm, quia, cam ttmm 
parrula plaeui Altissimo.— Jn 2 Rup, 3 NoU in Feti. S, ilT^ 

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bg berself all His without reserve. Let us now pass 
to the second point, on which we shall have much to say t 
Second point — The enlightened child well knew 
that God does not accept a divided heart, but wills 
that, as He has commanded, it should be consecrated 
to His love without the least reserve : " Thou shalt 
love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart."^ Hence 
from the first moment of her life she began to love God 
with all her strength, and gave herself entirely to Him. 
But still her most holy soul awaited with the most 
ardent desire the moment when she might consecrate 
herself to Him in a more solemn and public way. Let 
us, then, consider with what fervour this loving and 
tender Virgin, on finding herself actually enclosed in 
the holy place, first prostrate, kissed that ground as 
the house of her Lord ; and then adored His Infinite 
Majesty, thanked Him for the favour she had received 
in being thus brought to dwell for a time in His house, 
and then offered her entire self to her God, wholly, with- 
out reserving anything — all her powers and all her 
senseS, her whole mind and her whole heart, her whole 
soul and her whole body ; for then it was, according 
to many authors, that to pleaee Grod ^ she vowed Him 
her virginity,' a vow which, according to the Abbot 
Rupert, 'Mary was the first to make.*^ And the 
offering she then made of her entire self was without 
any reserve as to time, as Bernardino de Bustis de- 
clares : ^ Mary offered and dedicated herself to the per- 
petual service of God f^ for her intention was to dedi- 
cate herself to the service of His Divine Majesty in the 
temple for her whole life, should such be the good plea- 
sure of God, and never to leave that sacred place. 0, 
with what effusion of soul must she then have exclaimed, 
" My beloved to me, and I to Him V^ Cardinal Hugo 

* DiligM Dominam Deum taam ex toto oorde tua — DetU, tL 5. 

* Votam efregiuB Deo prima Tovisd, votum virginitati0.~Lib. UL in 
Clout 0.4. 

* Maria .... selpeam perpetnis Deo obseqaiii obtalit et dedioarit— 
MaHaL p. hr. Serm. L 

» DOeotw meui mihi, et ego mi I— OiMt U. Iflb 

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paraphrases these words, saying, ' I will live all His, 
and die all His.'*' ^My Lord and my Grod,' she said, 
' I am come here to please Thee alone, and to give 
Thee all the honour that is in my power 5 here will I 
live all Thine, and die all Thine, shoii d such be Thy 
pleasure; accept the sacrifice which 'J'liy poor servant 
offers Thee, and enable me to be faith f*il iO Thee.' 

Here let us consider how holy was the life which 
Mary led in the temple, where, as " the morning 
rising,"^ which rapidly bursts out into the fiill bright- 
ness of mid-day, she progressed in perfection. Who 
can ever tell the always-increasing brightness with 
which her resplendent virtues shone forth from day 
to day : charity, modesty, humility, silence, mortifica- 
tion, meekness. This fair olive-tree, says Saint John 
Damascen, planted in the house of God^ and nurtured 
by the Holy Ghost, became the dwelling-place of all 
virtues ; ' led to the temple, and thenceforwai*d planted 
in the house of God, and cultivated by the Spirit, she 
as a fruitful olive-tree became the abode of all vir- 
tues.'^^ The same Saint says elsewhere, 'that the 
countenance of the Blessed Virgin was modest, her 
mind humble, her words proceecBng from a composed 
interior were engaging.'^ In another place he asserts 
that she turned her thoughts far from earthly things, 
embracing all virtues ; and thus exercising herself in 
perfection, she made such rapid progress in a short 
time, that she merited to become a temple worthy of 

St. Anselm also speaks of the life of the Blessed 
Virgin in the temple, and says that ' Mary was docile, 
spoke little, was always composed, did not laugh, and 
that her mind was never disturbed. She also persevered 
in prayer, in the study of the sacred Scriptures, in fast- 

* Ego nU tofa TlTam, et tota moriar.— in Cfant. sap, &. 

^ QiUB est ifta, qa» pni|preditar qoasi aurora consaigexist^Giiiil. tL 9. 

n Ad templnm addioitor. Turn delude In domo Dei plactata, et pee 

Spiritnm saginsta, instai oliva fracdfem yirtatnm oflUkliUB doo^oOiaBi 
tnttruitur.— & Fide Orth, lib. It. oap. 14. 

«> Horn. I. in Nat B. M. V. 

" !>• Pite Ortk. IUk It. Mpb 14 

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ingSy and all virtaotis works.''* Sidnt Jerome enters 
more into detail He says that Mary thas regulated her 
life : In the morning nntil the third hoar she remained 
in prayer ; from the third hour until the ninth she em- 
ployed herself with work ^ and from the ninth hoiir she 
again prayed nntil the angel brought her her food, m 
he was wont to do. She was always the first in watoh- 
ings, the most exact in the observance of the Divine 
laW; the most profoundly humble, and the most perfect 
in every virtue. No one oversaw her angry : her every 
word carried such sweetness with it that it was a wit- 
ness to all that Qod was with her,* 

We read in St. Bonaventure's Life (if Christy that 
the Divine Mother herself rdvealed to Saint Elizabeth 
of Hungary that * when her father and mother left hex 
In the temple, she determined to have Qod alone for her 
Fath^ and often thought how she could please Him 
most.'^ Moreover as we learn from the Bevelations 
of Saint Bridget^ * she determined to consecrate her vir- 
ginity to Him, and to possess nothing in the world, and 
to give Him her entire will.'^ Besides this, she told 
Saint Elizabeth that of all the commandments to be ob- 
served she especially kept this one before her eyes ^ 
« Thou Shalt love the Lord thy God,-'^ and that at 
midnigbt she went before the altar of the temple to 
beg that He would grant her the grace to observe them 
aU, and also that she might live to see the birth of the 
Mother of the Redeemer, entreating Him at the same 
time to preserve her eyes to behold her, her tongue to 
paise her, her hands and feet to serve her, and her 
knees to adore her Divine Son in her womb. Saint 
Elizabeth, on hearing this, said, * But, Lady, wast thon 
not full of grace and virtue f Mary replied, ^ Know 

MI>eFon.etMor.B.2LV. " I>e l!i^ S. afaifii. 

* Own pater nMu ct mater mea me dimlMmnt ia templo, statni In Mfda 
■MO habere Deom in patrem; et deTote ao frequenter oogitobam, quid poa> 
■em iboere Deo ffratnm.— A, Braov. VHa OkrisH, em, m. 
" Vori etiam In oorde meo, d eiset ei aooeptabile oMerraro Tiiglnhatom. 
" nnqnam pomidere ia mnndo. . • .ei omnem T^ioDtatom meam wamkL 
». lfl>. L ei^K lOi 
JXUgm Domimua Doom liiiim«— l^niC* H 8. 

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fhat I ooQsidered myself most vile and miwortby of 
Divine grace, imd tnerefore thus earnestly prayed for 
giaoe and virtue.' And finally, that we might be oon- 
vinoedof the absolate necessity under which we all are 
of asking the graces that we require from Qrody she 
added : ' Dost thou think that I possessed grace &ai 
Tirtue without effort t Know that I obtained no grace 
from God without great effort, constant prayer, aideni 
desire, and many tears and mortifications.' 

But above all we should consider the revelation 
made to Saint Bridget of the virtues and practices of 
the Blessed Virgin in her childhood, in the following 
words : ' From her childhood Mary was full of the Holy 
Ghost, and as she advanced in age she advanced also 
In grace. Thenceforward she determined to love God 
with her whole heart, so that she might never offend 
Him, dther by her words or actions ; and therefore she 
despised all earthly goods. She gave all that she could 
to the poor. In her food she was so temperate, that 
she only took as much as was barely necessary to sus- 
tain her body. Afterwards, on discovering in the sacred 
Scriptures that God was to be bom of a Virgin, that 
He might redeem the world, her soul was to such a 
degree inflamed with Divine love, that she could desire 
and think of nothing but God ; and finding pleasure 
in Him alone, she avoided all company, even that of 
her parents, lest their presence might deprive her of 
IGs remembrance. Sihe desired, with the greatest 
ardour, to live until the time of the coming ^f the 
MesaiUi, that she might be the servant of that happy 
Vir^n, who merited to be His Mother.' Thus &r die 
Revelations of Saint Bridget.^ 

Ah, yes, for the love of this exalted child the Re- 
deemer did indeed hasten His coming into the world ; 
for whilst she, in her humility, looked upon herself as 
unworthy to be the servant of the Divine Mother, she 
was hqrself chosen to be this Mother ; and by the sweet 
odour of her virtues and her powerful prayers sh^ dr^W 

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the Divine Son into her virginal womb. For this rea- 
son Mary was called a tnrtle-dove by her Divine Spouse : 
''The voice of the turtle is heard in our land.''** Not, 
only because as a turtle-dove she always loved solitude, 
living in this world as in a desert, but also because, 
like a turtle-dove, which always sighs for its companions, 
Mary always sighed in the temple, compassionating the 
miseries of the lost world, and seeking from God the 
redemption of all. 0, with how much greater feeling 
and fervour than the prophets did she repeat their 
prayers and sighs, that God would send the promised 
Redeemer I " Send forth, Lord, the Lamb, the ruler 
of the earth."*^ "Drop down dew, ye heavens, from 
above, and let the clouds rain the Just."*^ "O that 
thou wouldst rend the heavens, and wouldst come 
down !"« 

In a word, it was a subject of delight to God to 
behold this tender Virgin always ascending towards 
the highest perfection, like a pillar of smoke, rich in 
the sweet odour of all virtues, as the Holy Ghost Him- 
self clearly describes her in the sacred Canticles : " Who 
is she that goeth up by the desert as a pillar of smoke, 
of aromatical spices, of myrrh and frankincense, and of 
all the powders of the perfumer F^ ' This child,' says 
Saint Sophronius, ' was truly God's garden of delights ; 
for He there found every kind of flower, and all the 
sweet odours of virtues.'^ Hence Saint John Chryso- 
stom affirms,^ that God chose Mary for His Mother in 
this world because He did not find on earth a Virgin 
more holy and more perfect then she was, nor any 
dwelling more worthy than her most sacred womb. 
Saint Bernard also says, ^ that there was not on earth 

**• Vox tnrtnris audita est in terra nostra. — Cant. i\. 19. 

*' Emitt«> sguum, Domine, dominatorem terrae. — Is. xvi. 1. 

** Rurate eaSl desnpf-r, et nubes pliiant Jiistum. — lb. xiv. 8. 

*^ Utinam disrnmperes c^bIos, et descenderes. — lb. Ixiv. 1. 

** Quae efct ista, quae asdendit per desertum, sicut virgula fbmi, ex MO< 
naatibus myrrhae, ei thuris, et universi pulveris pigmentarii ? — CatU. iU. & 

** Vere hortus deliciarum, in quo consita sunt universa florum genoia il 
odoramenta virtutum. — Serm. de Assump. int op. S. Hieron. 

** Ap. Omnis. Ub. i. de B. V. o. 13. 

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a more worthy place than the virginal womb/*'' Thig 
also agrees with the assertion of Saint AntoninnS; that 
the Blessed Virgin, to be chosen for, and destined to 
the dignity of Mother of Grod, was necessarily so great 
and consummate in perfection as to surpass all other 
creatures : ' The last grace of perfection is that which 
prepared her for the conception of the Son of God.'*' 

As, then, the holy child Mary presented and offered 
herself to God in the temple with promptitude and 
without reserve, so let us also present ourselves this 
day to Mary without delay and without reserve ; and 
let us entreat her to offer ub to God, who will not re- 

i'eot us when He sees us presented by the hand of that 
)lessed creature, who was the living temple of the 
Holy Ghost, the delight of her Lord, and the chosen 
Mother of the Eternal Word. Let us also have un- 
bounded confidence in this high and gracious Lady, 
who rewards, indeed, with the greatest love the homage 
that she receives from her clients, as we may gather 
from the following example. 


We read in the life of Sister Domenica del Para- 
diso, written by the Dominican Father I^atit(s del 
Niente, that she was bom of poor parents, m the vil- 
age of Paradise, near Florence. From her very infancy 
she began to serve the Divine Mother. She fasted 
every day in her honor, and on Saturdays gave her 
food, of which she deprived herself, to the poor. Every 
Saturday she went into the garden and into the neigh- 
bouring fields, and gathered all the flowers tnat she 
conld find, and presented them before an image of the 
Blessed Virgin with the Child in her arms, which she 
kept in the house. But let us now see with how many 
favours this most gracious Lady recompensed the hom« 

' ^ Neo In tenii locui dignlor nteii viiginalis templo.— • Jm Attump. B. IC. 
Serm. L 

f ^ Ultima gratia p«rii9ottonlf Mt pnepamtlo ad Filiiun Del ooooipleiidiim ; 
«iHB pnppvstio ftait ptr pwiftindam hnmUitatem.— -P. It. ttt U^ «. H^ V«^ ^ 

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Age of her servant. One day, wlien Domenioa was ten 
years of age, standing at the window, she saw in the 
street a lady of noble mien, accompanied by a little 
child, and they both extended their hands, asking for 
alms. She went to get some bread, when in a moment, 
without the door being opened, she saw them by her 
side and perceived that the child's hands and feet and 
side were wounded. She therefore* asked the Lady, 
who had wounded the child. The mother answered, 
' It was love.' Domenica, inflamed with love at the 
sight of the beauty and modesty of the child, asked him 
if the wounds pained him f His only answer was a 
smile. But, as they were standing near the statue of 
Jesus and Mary, the lady said to Domenica : ' Tell me, 
my child, what is it that makes thee crown these images 
with flowers ? She replied, ' It is the love that I \^ax 
to Jesus and Mary.' * And how much dost thou love 
them T * I love them as much as I can.' * And how 
much canst thou love them f * As much as they enable 
me.' ' Continue, then,' added the lady, * continue to 
love them J for they will amply repay thy love in 

The little girl then perceiving that a heavenly odour 
caiue forth from those wounds, asked the mother with 
what ointment she anointed them, and if it could be 
bought. Tne lady answered, * It is bought with faith 
and good works.' Domenica then offered the bread. 
The Mother said, *Love is the food of my Son; tell 
Him that thou lovest Jesu^, and He will be satisfied.' 
The child at the word love seemed filled with joy, and 
turning towards the little girl, asked her how much she 
loved Jesus. She answered that she loved Him so 
much, that night and day she always thought of Him, 
and sought for nothing else but to give Him as much 
pleasure as she possibly could.' ' It is well,' He replied j 
* love Him, for love will teach thee what todo to please 
Him.' The sweet odour which exhaled firom those 
wounds then increasing, Domenica cried out, 'O Qoi I 
this odour makes me £e of loye,' If the odour of • 

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914 OT THIS tRESBKl-AMOlif 0» UAXt. 

child is so sweet, what must that of heaven be t But 
behold the scene now changed ; the Mother appeared 
clothed as a Qneen, and the child resplendent with 
beauty like the sun. He took the flowers and scattered 
them on the head of Domenica, who, recognizing Jesus 
and Mary in those personages, was already prostrate 
adoring them. Thus the vision ended. Domenica 
afterwards took the habit of a Dominicaness, and died 
in the odour of sanctity in the year 1553. 


beloved Mother of God, most amiable child Mary, 
O that, as thou didst present thyself in the temple, and 
with promptitude and without reserve, didst consecrate 
thyself to the glory and love of God, I could offer thee, 
this day, the &8t years of my life, to devote myself 
without reserve to thy service, my holy and most sweet 
Lady ! But it is now too late to do this ; for, unfor- 
timate creature that I am, I have lost so many years ia 
the service of the world and my own caprices, and have 
lived in almost entire forgetf ulness of thee and of God : 
" Woe to that time in which I did not love thee !"*• 
But it is better to begin late than not at all. Behold, 
O Mary, I this day present myself to thee, and 1 offer 
myself without reserve to thy service for the long or 
short time that I still have to live in this world ; and 
in union with thee I renounce all creatures, and devote 
myself entirely to the love of my Creator. I consecrate 
my mind to thee, Queen, that it may always think of 
the love that thou deservest, my tongue to praise thee, 
my heart to love thee. Do thou accept, most holy 
Virgin, the offering which this miserable sinner now 
makes thee ; accept it, I beseech thee, by the consola- 
tion that thy heart experienced when thou gavest thy- 
self to God in the temple. But since I enter thy service 
Utet it is reasonable that I should redouble my acts of 

«*¥• tMnpmti Uli, In quo non «m^ U, 

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or xn pBiREimTioH oi hjjlt US 

Bcma^ and lov9, therel/ to eompensata f.rliJStUiiie. 
Dothonhdpmy weakojsf ^ iUi tby poweiM ntoroei- 
non, O Hothei o Meroy; b y .htMmug me pene veranoe 
from thy JesuS; md strengtl to b) alwiys fai hfnl tc 
tboe oiitil death ; that thue a1 wayv Bvrviiig ihec) in lif<^ 
Inay pfaiaetbMmPanlihiCoraUetocBitj. Aom 

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BisoouBSE nr. 


ii^fheIfuuirfu»Hon(iftheJEtemdl Word^ Marp cauU 
not have humtHsd herself more than she did hwMo 
herself: Ood an the oHher handy cauKd not haioc 
exdUed her mare than He did exdU her. 

^ WhosOEYBB shall exalt himself shall be hambled; 
•nd he that shall humble himself shall be exalted."^ 
These are the words of our LoBd, and cannot fail. 
Therefore, God having determined to become man, that 
He m^ht redeem lost man, and thns show the world 
His inmiite goodness, and having to choose a Mother 
on earth, He sought amongst women for the one who 
was the most holj and the most humble. Bat amongst 
all, one there was whom He admired, and this one was 
the tender Virgin Mary, who, the more exalted were 
her virtues, so much the more dove-like was her sim* 
plicity and humility, and the more lowly was she in 
her own estimation. ^^ There are young maidens with- 
out number : one is my dove, my perfect one.*^ There- 
fore God sard : This one shall be my chosen Mother. 
Let us now see how great was Maiys humility, and 
consequently how greatly Grod exalted her. Mary 
could not have humbled herself more than she did 
humble herself in the Incarnation of the Word ; this 
will be the first point. That God could not have ex- 
alted Maiv more than he did exalt her; this will be 
the second. 

First jTom^.— Our Lord in the sacred Oantides^ 

> Qui antem m «xalteT«Kit hundUaliitar t et qiii m huBOIsfwit «nll» 
mat^MatL zziiL IS. 
' AdoleMentnlanim bob flit ainiMrai. Uba flit < 

tm^ OMiTia 

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qpeaking precisely of the hmnility of the most humble 
virgin, says: '^ While the king was at his repose, my 
spikenard sent forth the odour thereof.''^ Saint Anto- 
ninaS| explaining these words, says that * spikenard, t^m 
its being a smafl and lowly herb, was a type of Mary, 
the sweet odonr of whose humility, ascendmg to heaven 
so to say, awakened the Divine Word, reposing in the 
bosom of the Eternal Father, and drew him into her 
virginal womb.^ So that our Lord, drawn as it were 
by the sweet odour of this humble Virgin, chose her 
for His Mother, when He was pleased to become man 
to redeem the world. But He, for the greater glory 
and merit of this Mother, would not become her Son 
without her previous consent. The Abbot William 
says, ' He would not take flesh from her unless she 
gave it.'' Hence, when this humble Virgin (for so it 
was revealed to Saint Elizabeth of Hungary) was in her 
poor little cottage, sighing and beseeching Gk>d more 
fervently than ever, and with desire more than ever 
ardent, that He would send the Eedeemer ; behold, 
the Archangel Gabriel arrives, the bearer of the ereat 
message. He enters and salutes her, saying : '' Hail, 
foil of grace ^ the Lord is with thee ; blessed art thou 
amongst women.''* Hail, Virgin full of grace j for 
thou wast always full cf grace above all other saints. 
The Lord is with thee, because thou art so humble. 
Thou art blessed amongst women, for all others fell 
under the curse of sin } but thou, because thou art the 
Mother of the Blessed One, art, and always wilt be 
blessed, and free from every stain. 

But what does the humble Mary reply to a saluta- 
tion so full of praises f Nothing ; sbe remains silent, 
but reflecting upon it, is troubled : " Who having heard 

' Dnm Mwft lex in aooaMta too nardaimMdeditotdoreinfaiim.— Conl. 

^ HafOni Mt herba paira, ted mnltam medicJnaHs, et signiiloat beatam 
yinrlnem homilem, qn» pormaxime dedit odorem Bxm haimlitati«.— P. iw. 
mis, 0.81, No. 2. 

' Nolnit oarnem fmnere ex ipsa, non dante ipuu—Ddrio in ant, i. 8. 

'Ara, gratia plana; DomiBiiitoeamt basadlota to ia miUmeUMm^— ZfM^ 

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uas Iron bled at bis saying, and thonglit with nendl 
what manner of salutation this should heJ'^ Why waw 
she troubled 1 Did she fear an illasion, or was it her 
virginal modesty which caused her to be disturbed at 
the si^ht of a man, as some sappo^, in the belief tiiat 
the Angel appeared under a human form f No,, the 
text is clear : '^ She was troubled at his saying.*^ 
'Not at his appearance, but at what be said,'^ remami 
Eusebius Emissenus. Her trouble, then, arose entirely 
from her humility, which was disturbed at the sound 
of praises so far exceeding her own lowly estimate of 
herself. Hence, the more the angel exalted h^, the 
more shp humbled herself, and entered into the consider- 
ation of her own nothingness. Here Saint Bemardine 
remarks, that ' had the angel said, Mary, thou art the 
greatest sinner in the world, her astonishment would 
not have been so great ; the sound of such high praises 
filled her with fear.'® She was troubled ; for, being so 
foil of humility, she abhorred every praise of herself 
and her only desire was that her Creator, the giver of 
every good thing, should be praised and blessed. This 
Mary herself revealed to Saint Bridget, when speaking 
of the time in which she became Mother of God: 
' I desired not my own praise, but only that my Greater, 
the giver of all, should be glorified.'^ The Blessed 
Virgin was already well aware, from the sacred Scrip- 
tures, that the time foretold by the prophets for the 
coming of the Messiah had arrived ; that the weeks of 
Daniel were completed ; that already, according to the 
prophecy of Jacob, the sceptre of Juda had passed into 
the hands of Herod, a strange king : she already knew 
that a Virgin was to be the Mother of the Mesdah« 
She then heard the angel give her praises which, it was 

' Que, OTUD andisset, tttrbats est in Mnno&e itJni, et oogitabat qnaUi mmI 
kta salatatio— Xtce. L 29. 

• Tnrbata est, inquit, non in mlta ejns, sed in sermone cJi U d S erm, 4m 
Ftr. iy. poH Dent. 4, Advent. 

* Si ipse dizisset, To, O Maria, es lasdyior qnsB sit in mnndo, non lift alp 
nirata ftiisset . . . undo . . . torbata Mt de tantis . . . laadib ua ^ J sr u fc 
4t Amort tnoamonte, p. iii. 

M V«liil Uradem meun, led loliiii dftUnii et GNatoiii.F-jes». L & ctt^ 

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OF TBx Awsra^ciAnov ^f xaet. 319 

evident, conld apply to no other than to the Mother of 
God. Hence, may not the thought, or at least some 
vague impression, have entered her mind, that perhaps 
she was this chosen Mother of Gk)d f No, her profound 
humility did not even admit such an idea. Those 
praises only caused gieat fear in her : * so much so,^ as 
Saint Peter Ohrysologus remarks, * that as Christ waa 
pleased to be comforted by an angel, so was it necessaiy 
that the Blessed Virgin should be encouraged by one.'" 
Saint Gabriel, seeing Mary so troubled and almost 
stupefied by the salutation, was obliged to encourage 
her, saying, " Fear not, Mary j for thou hast found 
grace with God."^ Fear not, Mary, and be not sur- 
prised at the great titles by which I have saluted thee 5 
for if thou in thine own eyes art so little and lowly, 
God, who exalts the humble, has made thee worthy to 
find the grace lost by men 5 and therefore He has pre- 
served thee from the common stain of the children of 
Adam. Hence, from the moment of thy conception, He 
has honoured thee with a grace greater thsna that of all 
the Saints ; and therefore He now finally exalts thee 
even to the dignity of being His Mother. "Behold, 
thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring 
forth a Son : and thou shalt call His name Jesus.''*' 

And now, why this delay, Mary t * The angel 
awaits the reply' (says Saint Bernard); ' and we also, O 
Lady, on whom the sentence of condemnation weighs 
so heavily, await the word of mercyj'^* we, who are al- 
ready condemned to death. ^ Behold, the price of our 
salvation is oflfered thee 5 we shall be instantly delivered 
il thou consentest,'^* continues the same Saint Bernard. 
Behold, Mother of us aU, the price of our salvation is 

^* Sieat Clirigtns per angelnm confbrtari rolnit, Ita deouit Viig^am per* 
anffelnm animari. — Ap. Suarez. de Inc. q. 30, a. 2. 

^ Ne timeas, Maria ; inyenisti enim gratiam apud Demn. — XAie. 1. 30. 

1' Ecce concipies in atero, et paries fllium, et vocabis nomen ejus Jefom. 
—Luc. i. 31. 

^* Ezpectat an^elns responsom .... expectamm et nos, O "DcmioM, 
terbnm miserationis, quo* mlBerabiliter premit gententia damnattoidi.r« 
Horn. iv. sup. MU$. 
! 1^ Et ee«e oiTertar tibi pvetiom MliitU nottnB ; itetim 1iben1)imv il aoMi a 

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320 OF THB AinnjKctArnoK ot uaxt. 

already olSered ttee ; tbat price will be the Divine 
Wordy made man in tbee; in that moment in which 
thon acceptest Him for thy Son we shall be delivered 
from death. *For thy Lord Himself desires thy con 
sent, by which He has determined to save the world, 
with an ardonr eqnal to the love with which He has 
loved thy beanty.'^^ * Answer then, O sacred Virgin, 
says Saint Augustine, or some other ancient author; 
* why delayest thon giving life to the world f ^"^ Reply 
qnickly, Lady j no longer delay the salvation of the 
world, which now depends upon thy consent. 

But see, Maxy already answers ; she replies to the 
angel and says : ^^ Behold the handmaid of the Lord ; be 
it done to me according to thy word.''^^ 0, wha*; more 
beautiful, more humble, or more prudent answer could 
all the wisdom of men and angels together have in- 
vented, had they reflected for a million years 1 power- 
ful answer, which rejoiced heaven, and brought an 
immense sea of graces and blessings into the world ! — 
answer which had scarcely fallen from the lips of Maiy, 
before it drew the only-begotten Son of God from the 
bosom of His Eternal Father, to become man in her 
most pure womb ! Yes indeed ; for scarcely had she ut- 
tered these words, ^^ Behold the handmaid of the Lord ; 
be it done to me according to thy word," than instantly 
" the Word was made flesh f^^ the Son of God became 
also the Son of Mary. ' powerful Fiat !' exclaims 
Saint Thomas of Villanovaj *0 efficacious Fiat ! 
Fiat to be venerated above every other Fiat ! For witb 
a fiat God created light, heaven, earth ; but with Mary's 
fiat/ says the Saint, < God became man, like us.'^ 

>* Ipse qaoqne omnimn Rex et Dominm , quantum oononpiyit deoorem 
tmim, tantum desfderat et reqpongionis assensum, in qua nimirum piopo> 
•nit aalyare mundum.— 2b. 

^ Besponde nunc yerbum . . . O Beata Haria, sflBOulnm onme oaptivum 


deprecatur aasensum . . . Noli morari, Viigo; nuntio fei 
lefponde yerbum, et suaoipe Filinm. — Int. op. S. Ai^futtini Serm, iL dt 

I Hoe yert)0>kU ftwtui eet mu 

^* Eooe andlla Domini, fiat mihi lecundnm yerbom tuum. — Luc. L 38. 
>* Bt Verbum oaro footum est, et habitayit in nobis. — Joan. i. 14. 
* O Jlai potens I OAat elBoax I OJUU super omnejfo^, pezpetuo honon 
' nundns, G^L:booyeiboottlifll» 

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Let us, liowever, not wander from onr point; but 
consider the great humility of the Blessed Virgin in 
this answer. She was fully enlightened as to the great- 
ness of the dignity of a Mother of (Jod. She had al- 
ready been assured by the angel that she was this happy 
Mother chosen by our Lord. But with all this, she in 
no way rises in her own estimation, she does not stop 
to rejoice in her exultation ; but seeing, on the one side, 
her own nothingness, and on the other the infinite 
majesty of Grod, who chose her for His Mother, she ac- 
knowledges how unworthy she is of so great an honour, 
but will not oppose His will in the least thing. Hence, 
when her consent is asked, what does she do T what 
does she say t Wholly annihilated within herself, yet 
all inflamed at the same time by the ardour of her de- 
aire to unite herself thus still more closely with God, 
and abandoning herself entirely to the Divine will, she 
rejilies, " Behold the handmaid of the Lord.** Behold 
the slave of the Lord, obliged to do that which her Lord 
commands. As if she meant to say : Since God chooses 
me for his Mother, who have nothing of my own, and 
since all that I have is His gift, who can ever think 
that He has done so on account of my own merits t 
" Behold the handmaid of the Lord.** What merit can 
a slave ever have, that she should become the Mother 
of her Lord t " Behold the handmaid of the Lord.^ 
May the goodness of God alone be praised, and not 
His slave : since it is all His goodness, that he fires 
His eyes on so lowly a creature as I am, to make her 
•0 great. 

* O humility !' here exclaims the Abbot Guarrio; 
' as nothing in its own eyes, yet sufficiently great for 
the Divinity ! Insufficient for itself, sufficient fpr Him 
whom the heavens cannot contain.'** great humility 
of Mary ! which makes her little to herself, but great 
before God. Unworthy in her own eyes, but worthy 

•rrsftnaqne Altisdmiu oondidtt : ted UAeJUtt mm fonnit in o^m, quale ta 
AXUM Beata diziiti.— Omic L in Jrmunt, B. M. V. 

*> O hnmiHtas anrosta tibi, ampla Diyinitatt I loMUBdtM ill 
•I tattt BOB eaptt orWt 1---JM .iMMMfrf. $ 3^ 

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S22 or TEE ANisnjKCiATioir or uxry. 

in the eyes of that immense Lord whom the world 
Cfmnot contain. Bat the exclamation of Saint Bernard 
on this subject is still more beautifdl^ in his fourth 
sermon on the Assumption of Mary, in which, admit* 
ing her humility, he says : ' And how, Lady, oouldg* 
thou unite in thy heart so humbly an opinion of thy- 
self with such great purity, with such innocence, and 
10 great a plenitude of grace as thou didst possess f" 
*Ajttd how, Blessed Virgin,' continues the Saint, 
' did this humility, and so great humility, ever take such 
deep root in thy heart, seeing thyself thus honoured 
and exalted by God V ' Whence thy humility, and so 
^eat humility, blessed one f ^ Lucifer, seeing him- 
self endowed with great beauty, aspired to exalt his 
throne above the stars, and to make himself like God : 
" I will exalt my throne above the stars of God . . . 
I will be like the Most High."^* what would that 
proud spirit have said, and to what would he have 
aspired, had he ever been adorned with the gifts of 
Mary! The humble Mary did not act thusj the 
higher she saw herself raised, the more she humbled 
herself. Ah, Lady ! concludes Saint Bernard, by this 
admirable humility thou didst indeed render thyself 
worthy to be regarded by God with singular love; 
worthy to captivate thy King with thy beauty ; worthy 
to draw, by the- sweet odour of thy humility, the 
Eternal Son from His repose, from the bosom of God, 
into thy most pure womb. ^ She was indeed worthy 
to be looked upon by the Lord, whose beauty the King 
BO greatly desired, and by whose most sweet odom: He 
was drawn from the Eternal repose of His Father's 
bosom.'^ Hence Bernardino de Bustis says that ' Mary 

** Quanta vero et qaam pretiosa hnmilitatis yirtoB, onm tanta paritato, 
enm innooentia tanta, cam oonsoientia prorsns absque delicto, ano oiui 
iHit* gfatiflB plenitadine ^Serm. iv. in Atsump. B. M. V. 

* Unde tibi humilita« et tanta humilitas, O Beataf— /&. 

** Saper astra Dei ezaltabo solium memn . . . fimilis ero Altissimo.— Jk 
yhr. 13, 14. 

** Digna plane qaam respioeret Domlnof, cqjos deeorem oooooplaoeret 
S«x, oqjof odore foaTiisimo ab ntamo illo paterni liniii attnU»«ntar , 
•Mabita.->/n Auump iy. 13, 11 

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merited more by saying with bmaility; *' Behold the 
handmaid of the Lord r than all pnre oreatures coald 
merit together by all their good works.''*^ 

ThnSy sayB Samt Bernard, this innocent Virgin, 
•Ithough abe made herself dear to God by her vir- 

finity, yet it was by her hnmility that she rendered 
erself worthy, as far aa a csreature can be worthy, to 
become the Mother of her Creator. 'Though she 
pleased by her virginity, she conceived by her hu- 
mility.'^ Saint Jerome confirms this, saying that 
' Gk>d chose her to be His Mother more on account of 
her humility than all her other sublime virtu^B.^ 
Mary herself also assured 8aint Bridget of the sam^ 
thing, iaying : ' How was it that I merited so great 
a grace as to be made the Mother of my Lord, if it 
was not that I knew my own nothingness, and that 
I had nothing, and humbled myself V^ This she had 
already declared in her canticle, breathing fortb the 
most profound humility, when she said : " Because He 
hath regarded the humility of His handmaid .... 
He that is mighty hath done great things to me.''^ 
On these words Saint Lawrence Justinian remarks, that 
the Blessed Virgin ' did not say. He hath regarded the 
virginity, or the innocence, but only the humility 'P^ 
and by this humility, as Saint Francis of Sales observes, 
Mary did not mean to praise the virtue of her own 
humility, but she meant to declare that God had re- 
garded her nothingness (humility, that is nothingness),'" 
and that, out of His pure goodness. He had been pleased 
thus to exalt her. 

* BmMdiota Virgo plos meroit sola, qiiam omnee alte creatorn, lude 8 
Bonav. 'Ipsa plus merait intensire post annuntiationom, quam (mmes 
Banoti et Sanote Del simul.'— P. zL Jfarial. Serm. ii. p. 7, s. 

^ Etsi plaouit ex yirginitate, tamea ex hamilitate ooncepit.— JBom. !. sup 

* Malait Deus do Beata Maria incarnari propter humilitatem, qoam 
(lOTter aliam quamcumque virtatem. — Buseb. de MorU Eier. 

^ Unde promerui tantam gratiam, nisi quia oogitayi, et sciyi, me oihil a 
me esse vel habere t— £««. lib. ii. cap. 23. 

■* Quia respexit humilitatem ancills sua . . . fecit mihi magna qui potent 
ttL-^Lve. L 48, 49. 

** Non ait, respexit Viiginitatem, noo inoooentiaio, non, Yirtutes < 
Md IraoaiUtitam tantum.— l>s Vita MliL oa|». sir. 

•» HmamtrteM, i* wt nftllif tern 

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In fine, the author of a sermon fonnd amongst the 
works of Saint Augustine says, that Maiys humility 
was a ladder bj which our Lord deigned to desoend 
from heaven to earth, to become man in her womb : 
^Mary's humility', he says, 'became a heavenly ladder, 
by which God came into the world.'^ This is con- 
firmed by Saint Antoninus, who says, that the humilitgr 
Df Mary was her most perfect virtue, and the one which 
immediately prepared her to become the Mother of 
God. * The last grace of perfection is preparation for 
the conception of the Son of God, which preparation 
is made by profound humility .'^ The prophet Isaias 
foretold the same thing : '^ And there shall come forth 
a rod out of the root of Jesse, and a flower shall rise 
ftp out of has root.''^ Blessed Albert the Great re- 
marks on these words, that the Divine flower, that is 
k) say the only-begotten Son of God, was to be bom, 
aot from the summit, nor from the trunk, of the tree of 
Jesse, but from the root, precisely to denote the hu- 
mility of the Mother : * By the root humility of heart 
is understood.'^ The Abbot of Gelles explains it more 
clearly still, saying : ' Remark that the flower rises, 
not from the summit, but out of the rook.'^ For this 
reason God said to his beloved daughter, "Turn away 
thy eyes from Me, for they have made Me fliee away."** 
Saint Augustine asks, ' Whence have they made Thee 
flee, unless it be from the bosom of Thy Father into 
the womb of Thy Mother f^ On this same thought 
the learned interpreter Fernandez says, that the most 
humble eyes of Mary, which she always kept fixed on 
the Divine greatness, never losing si^ht of her own 
nothingness, did such violence to God Himself that 

" Facia eet oerte Maris hnmUitai soala ocelestis, per qnam deaoandM 
Dens ad tecras. — Serm. de Asntmp. int. op. 8. Attgutt. 

<* Ultima gratia perfeotionis est, pneparatio ad Filiam Del ooneipiendaai) 
qiUB pr»paratio fidt per proftindam homilitatem.—P. hr. tit 15, o. 6, no. 8. 

* Et egred/etor virga de radloe Jesse, et fioe de radioe ejus asoendei— lii 

** In radice hamiUtas oordis.'^&rm. ItL de B, V. M. 

" Neta quod non ex lummitate sed de radice asoendit lloa. t 

» Averte oonlos taos a me. quia ipei me ayolare fecenm t ( fm ii , fL 4. 

* Vmim ftTolare, nisi a tkm Patili in atemm Hatiisf t 

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Aejdrew Him into her womb: 'Her most hnmble 
^ea held Grod in sncb a way captive, that the Blessed 
V irgin, with a kind of most sweet violence, drew the 
Word Himself of God the Father into her womb.*** 
' Thus it is that we can onderstand/ says the Abbot 
Franco, * why the Holy Ghost praised the beauty of this 
His Spouse, so greatly, on "vccount of her do vers eyes:' 
'^ How beautiful art thou, my love ! how beautiful art 
thou I thine eyes arc dove's eyes."*^ For Mary, look- 
ing at God with the eyes of a simple and humble dove, 
enamoured Him to such a degree by her beauty, that 
with the bands of love she made Him a prisoner in 
her chaste womb. The Abbot thus speaks: 'Whert. 
on earth could so beautiful a Virgin be found, who 
oould allure the King of heaven by her eyes, and by a 
holy violence lead Him captive, bound in the chains of 
love f ^ So that, to conclude this point, we will re- 
mark, that in the Incarnation of the Eternal Word, a« 
we have already seen at the commencement of our did 
course, Mary could not have humbled herself morf 
than she did humble herself. Let us now see how i^ 
was that God, having made her His Mother, could no| 
have exalted her more than He did exalt her. 

Second point. — To understand the greatness U 
which Mary was exalted, it would be necessary tt 
understand the sublimity and greatness of Grod. It is 
sufficient, then, to say simply, that God made this 
Blessed Virgin His Mother, to understand that God 
could not have exalted her more than He did exalt 
her. Arnold of Chartres, then, rightly asserts that Grod, 
by beocHning the Son of the Blessed Virgin, * esta- 
blished her in a rank fax above that of all the Saints 

^ Ite fllltu oenli hnmillJini ao modesMisiini Deom teiiii«rraitk nl nwrliii> 
■IS qaadam violentia, non modo divinos thesaoroe diripaerlt, Md ipMunmol 
Dei Patris Verbom ao FUiom nDigeoitam in ateram snam, atqoa in ma* 
torna ubera et biaohia foa, hominem el infEtntulnm natnrn pnloheniflM 
Vino attraxeril'— Jn cap. jaiy.Otn, leot 1, no. 8. 

^Qnam palohra ee, amioa mea, qnam polehra ee I Oooli to! oelambaram. 
^Oant, iT. 1. 

«> Ubinamteiranim tarn speolosa, qa» FiHam Dei de tinnFatrii aDlMNt; 
•I ia amplexoi •noa Tinonlii eliaritaai pia Tioleptia oaaanuii i nhmL 9 

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and anffels.'*' So that, with the exception of God 
Himself, there is no one who is so greatly exalted i &a 
Saint Ephrem also asserts : ' Her glory is incomparably 
greater than that of all the other celestial spirits.'^ 
This is confirmed by Saint Andrew of Crete, saying 
* Grod excepted, she is higher than all.'** Saint An* 
eelm also says, ' No one is eqaal to thee, Lady, ion 
all are either above or beneath thee: God alone is 
above thee, and all that is not God is inferior to thee.^ 
In fine, says St. Bernardine, ^ the greatness and dignity 
of this Blessed Virgin are such, that God alone does, 
and can, comprehend it.''*'' 

In this reflection we have more than sufficient, re 
marks Saint Thomas of Yillanova, to take away the 
surprise which might be caused on seeing that the 
sacred Evangelists, who have so fully recorded the 
praises of a John the Baptist and of a Magdalen, say 
so little of the precious gifts of Mary : ' It was sufficient 
to say of her, " Of whom was bom Jesus." ' ' What 
more could you wish the Evangelists to have said ol 
the greatness of this Blessed Virgin 1 ' continues the 
Saint. ' Is it not enough that they declare that she 
was the Mother of God T In these few words they re- 
corded the greatest, the wh^e, of her precious gifts; 
and since the whole was therein contained, it was un- 
necessary to enter into details.'** And why not 1 Saint 
Anselm replies, ' that when we say of Mary she is the 

^ Oonstitata qnippe est (Maria) snper onmem oreatnre^ ; et qitieQm<i«it 
Jem onrvat genu, Matii quoquo proniu supplicat et itooliTiB.— Z>a LaiuL 
B.M. V, 

** InoomporabUitor reliquis onmibns snpernis exeroitibos gloriofltor^* 


^ QtuB, nno ezoepto Deo, rebm omnibcu ezceUior es.~i» Dorm. 8, M, 
Strm. UL 

^ Nihil tibi, Domina, seqnale, nihil oomparabile est ; omne etdm qnoA 
•ft, aut sapra te est, ant subtos te est: quod supra te est solus Deui est; 
quod infi» te, omne quod Deus non est — De Ctmcept. B. M, V. 

^ Perfectiones gratiamm quas Virffo suscepit in conoeptione Filii Dei, 
•olo intelleotui Divino, Ghristo, et sibi comprehensiNIes exUterunt— ^Slsrm. 
«lf Nat. B. M. V. cap. ztL 

^ Suffldt ad ejus pienam Mstoriam qnod soriptnm est In themate ; quki 
de iUa natus est f esus. Quid amplius qussris ? Quid ultra requiris in Vir- 

eeT SufBoit tibi quod Mat^r Dei est . . . Ubi eno totom enil p«rtfOli- 
dAomifiiit— ame.i/.deJrd<.^.ir. r. 

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ffother of God; this alone tiansoends every greatness 
iLat can be named or imagined after that of God.'^ 
Peter of Celles, on the same subject, adds: * Address 
her as Queen of Heaven, Sovereign Mistress of the 
angeis, or any other title of honour you may please, 
but never can you honour her so much as by simply 
calling her the Mother of God.**® 

The reason of this is evident : for, as thQ angelio 
Doctor teaches, the nearer a thing approaches its author, 
the greater is the perfection it receives from him ; and 
therefore Mary being of all creatures the nearest to God, 
she, more than all others, has partaken of His graces, 
perfections, and greatness. He says, ' The Blessed Yir* 

fin Mary was the nearest possible to Christ ; for from 
er it was that He received His human nature, and 
therefore she must have obtained a greater plenitude 
of grace from Him than all others.'^^ To this Father 
Suarez traces the reason for which ' the dignity of Mo« 
ther of God is above every other created dignity f for 
he says, ' It belongs in a certain way to the order of 
hypostatic union ,• for it intrinsically appertains to it, 
and has a necessary conjunction with it.*®* Hence Denis 
the Carthusian asserts, that 'after the hypostatic union 
there is none more intimate than that of the Mother of 
God with her Son/" This, Saint Thomas teaches, is 
the supreme, the highest degree of union that a pure 
creature can have with God-: 'It is a sort of supreme 

^ Hoo lolam de Sanota Virgine pnBdioari, onod D«i Mater est, exoedit 
omnem altitudinem qrm post Deom dioi Tel oogitari potest— i>e Excel Virg, 
era. iL 

^ Si ooeli R^namt si angelomm Dominam, vel qaodlibet aliud excel- 
Isntissimam, tarn ab homano oorde, qnam ore exoog^tatom protnleris, non 
adsnrget ad hone saperindidbilem honorem, quo oritur et pnedioator Dei 
Oenitnx. — Dt Panibtu, cap. xxi. 

*> Qnanto aliqnid mag^ appropinqnat prinoipio in qnolibet genere, 
•aato magis partioipat effeotiun iUins prinoipii, See, Beata autem Virgo 
Maria propinqaissima Christo ftiit secundum homanitatem, quia ex e* 
«oc^it humanam naturam : et ideo prs ceteris mi^jorem debnit a Christo 
fratuB plenitudinem obtinere. — ^p. 3, q. xxrii. art 5, concL 

** Dignitas matris est altioris ordinis, pertinet enim quodammodo ad 
•rdinem unionis hypostatice, illam enim intrinsice respicit, et cum ilia ne- 
eessariam oonjunotionem habet — JH IncamaL p. 2, q. xxri. art L disp. 1« 
sect 2. 

** P»>st hypoftatioam ooiOimotionem non est alia tan) Tioina* ^^ iQlt 
UtMBl^wmViiiom^o^r-^Uu^ F. if. 1. i e. 30b 

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S2S 01" THB ANmorciATioir or illry. 

union with an Infinite Person.'^ Blessed Albert the 
Great also asserts, that 'to be tbe Mother of GoA is 
the highest dignity after that of being God.'" Hence 
he adds, that 'Maiy could not have been more closely 
united to God than she was without becoming (xod.' 

Saint Bemardine says, that 'to become Mother of 
God, the Blessed Virgin had to be raised to a sort of 
equality with the Divine Persons by an almost infinity 
of graces.'^ And as children are, morally speaking, 
Considered one with their parents, so that their proper- 
ties and honours are in common, it follows, says Saint 
Peter Damian, that God who dwells in creatures in dif- 
ferent ways dwelt in Mary in an especial way, and wag 
singularly identified with her, making Himself on^ 
and the same thing with her. ' The fourth mode,' he 
says, 'in which God is in a creature is that of identity ; 
and this He is in the Blessed Virgin Mary, for He is 
one with her.' Thence he exclaims in those celebrated 
words, ' Let every creature be silent and tremble, and 
scarcely dare glance at the immensity of so great a 
dignity. God dwells in the Blessed Virgin, with whom 
He has the identity of one nature.'^''^ 

Therefore Saint Thomas asserts that when Mary be- 
came Mother of God, by reason of so close a union with 
an infinite good, she received a dignity which Fathei 
Suarez calls ' infinite in its kind.'^ The dignity of Mo- 

^ Hmnanitas Chrisli ex boo quod est unita Deo, et beatitodo oreata ex 
hoo quod ert froitio Dei, et beata Virgo ex hoc quod est Mater Dei, habent 
quandam dignitatem infinitam ex bono infinito. quod est Deui : et ex hae 
T«rte non potest aliquid fieri melius eis, sicut non potest aliquid meliuf esM 
l>eo. — p. 1. q. XXV. art 6. ad 4. 

*" Immediate post esse Deum, est esse Matrem Dei . . . Non potest Intel- 
Ugi pure creattiraB m^or partioipari gratia, quam esse Matrem VeL'-^Sup, 
MUnu. Besp. 3. 15, ad. q. cxl. 

"* Quod foemina conoiperet, et pareret Deum est, et ftdt, miraonlmn mi- 
laonlorum. Oportnit enim, ut sio dioam, foeminam elevari ad quamdam 
nqualitat^pi Diyinam, per quamdam quasi infinitatemperfeoti<mum et gm 
tiarum.— /Semi, de Nat. B. M. V. cap. xii. 

"^ Quarto modo inest (Deus) nni creatune, yidelicet MaiisB Virgini, identi* 
tate quia idem est, quod ilia. Hie taceat et oontremiscat omnis oreatnra, et 
▼ix audeat aspicere tantse dignitatis, et dignationis immensitatem . . . 
Habitat Deus in Viigine, habitat oum ilia qua unius naUune babet earn 
Identitatem.— iS^rrt. L de Nat. B. M. V. 

** Et ill! ftivet etiam D. Th. dicens bane dignitatem esse • 
lltun.— i>t Jncarrwt. p. %, q. xxviL art I. ^mp. 1. taoi 9» 

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ther of God is the greatest dignity that can be conferred 
on a pnre creature. For although the angelic Dooioit 
teaches that 'even the humanity of Jesus Christ could 
have received greater habitual grace from God, — since 
grace is a created gift, and therefore its essence is finite ; 
for all creatures have a determined measure of capacity, 
80 that it is yet in G^d's power to make ^lother crea- 
ture whose determined measure is greater,'^ — ^yet since 
His humanity was destined to a personal unioq with a 
Divine Person, it could not have for its subject anything 
greater ; or, as the Saint expresses himself in another 
place, 'though the Divine power could create something 
greater and better than the habitual grace of Christ, 
nevertheless it could not destine it to anything greater 
than the personal union of the only-begotten Son of 
the Father.'^ Thus, on the other hand, the Blessed 
Virgin could not have been raised to a greater dignity 
than that of Mother of God. ' Which dignity is in a 
certain manner infinite, inasmuch as God is an infinite 
good ; in this respect, then, she could not have been 
made greater.'®* Saint Thomas of Villanova says the 
same thing : ' There is something infinite in being the 
Mother of Him who is Infinite.'^ Saint Bemardine 
also says, that ' the state to which God exalted Mary in 
making her His Mother was the highest state which 
oould be conferred on a pure creature : so that He could 

** De natla ItaUtoaU dnbinin etse potest sn sit Inflnlta. Com enim 
bi^iitino£ gratia lit etiam donom aeatum, conflteri oportet quod habeat 
Msentiam finitam. Potest tamen did infinita triplici ratione Primo qni- 
don ex parte recipientis. Manifestom est emm imiiuct^iuque natora 
creata oapacitatem esse finitam, quia et si infinitum bonum redpere possit 
•ognosoendo et fruendo, non tamen ipeam reoipit infinite, est iflitur opjus* 
UMt oreatune, secundum suam speciem et natuxam, capaoitatis determinata 
nensura, qnss tamm Divina potestati non prejudicat, auin posset aliam 
«ff«atiiram nuOoris oapaoitatis ntcere. — Opu$c. ii, Cknnpma. TmoI. cap. 215w 

** Virtus Diyina, licet possit fisoere aliquid m%}us et melius, quam sit 
babitnalis gratia Ghristi ; non tamen posset flusere, quod ordinaretur ad ali- 
tidd mi^us, quam sit unio penonalis ad Fllinm unigenitum a Patre. -p. 3, 
4. TiL art 12. ad. 2. 

*> Beata Virgo, ex hoc quod est Mater Del, habet qnandam dignitatem 
toflnitam ex bone Infinite, quod est Deus : et ex hac parte non potest aliquid 
MnaA melius — ^p. 1, q. xxr. art 6, ad 4. 

* Utique habet qnandam infinitatem, esse matrem lufiniti et Omnipt 

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6ib 6F TtB iLlTKtJNClATIOH 01* ^LX&t 

not have exalted her more.'®' This opinion is confirmed 
by Blessed Albert the Great, who says, that ^ in be- 
Btowing on Mary the maternity of God, God gave 
her the highest gift of which a pure creature is ca- 

Hence that celebrated saying of Saint Bonaventure, 
that ' to be the Mother of God is the greatest grace that 
can be conferred on a creature. It is such that God 
could make a greater world, a greater heaven but that 
He cannot exalt a creature more than by making her 
His Mother.*® But no one has so well expressed the - 
greatness of the dignity to which God had raised her as 
the Divine Mother herself when she said, " He that is 
mighty hath done great things in me.'^ And why did 
not the Blessed Virgin make known what were the 
great things conferred on her by God 1 Saint Thomas 
of Villanova answers, that Mary did not explain them 
because they could not be expressed : ^ She did not ex- 
plain them, because they were inexplicable.'^ 

Hence Saint Bernard with reason says, 'that for 
this Blessed Virgin, who was to be His Mother, Gtod 
created the whole world.'*® And Saint Bonaventure, 
that its existence depends on her will. He says, ad- 
dressing her, ' The world which thou with God didst 
form from the beginning continues to exist at thy will, 
most holy Virgm ;'^ the 8ami adhering in this to 
the words of Proverbs applied by the Ohiurch to Mary : 
" I was with Him forming* all things."'® Saint Ber 

** Statos maternitatts Dei, ad qaem Deni Vlrg^nem eligebat, erat sammm 
•tatns, qui pursB creatum dari posset.— De Contemu Virg. Serm. iL art 3. o, 1. 

** Dominos B. Virgini sommam donavit oi^jos oapaz ftdt para or«aton, 
•oilicet Dei matemitatem.— i9up. Jf. q. 138. 

** Ipsa est qua mf^orem Deos feoere non posset Hi^orem miindo* 
posset &oere Dens, m^jus ooelam posset fEicere Dens: majorem matreoi 
qaam matrern Dei noa posset fEUsere Deos. — Spec B, M. V, Leot x. 

** Feolt mihi magna qui potens est— -Xuc i. 49. 

" Ezoedit . . . enim intellectam et loqaelam Vir^finis magnitado, noa 
modo noetram, imo forte et soarn. Feoit, inqnit, mihi Magna qicd potent 
est Sed quam magna? Nescio an ipsamet yaloit oomprehendere saav 
niMrnitadinem.— Cime. iii. de Nat. B. M. F. 

** Propter bano totos mondns &otas est — STm, iiL tup, SaJiot Beg, 

** Dispositiooe toa perseverat mondos, qaem et ta earn Deo ftu^Uwtt A 
iBltia— P«. ozYiii. de B, F. M. 

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OF TH« AKinTNClATlOir C¥ llAJtT. 331 

nardine adds, tliat it was for the love of Mary that Gk)d 
did not destroy man after Adam's am : ' He preserved 
it on account of His most siugnlar love for this Blessed 
Virgin."^ Hence the Holy Ghost with reason sinffs of 
Mary : * She has chosen the best part f^ for this v ir- 
gin Mother not only chose the best things, bat she 
chcse the best part of the best things ; ^ God endowing 
her in the highest degree/ as Blessed Albert the Great 
asserts, ^ with all the general and particular graces and 
gifts conferred on all other creatures, in consequence 
of the dignity granted her of the Divine maternity.'" 
Thus Mary was a child, but of this state she had only 
the innocence, not the defect of incapacity ; for from 
the very first moment of her existence she had always 
the perfect use of reason. She was a Virgin without 
Ihe reproach of sterility. She was a Mother, but at 
Ihe same time possessed the precious treasure of vir- 
nnity. She was beautiful, even most beautiful, as 
Kichard of Saint Victor asserts,''* with Saint George of 
Nicomedia,''^ and Saint Denis the Areopagite, who (as 
it is believed) had the happiness of once beholding her 
beauty ; and he declared that had not faith taught him 
that she was only a creature, he should have adored 
her as God. Our Lord Himself also revealed to Saint 
Bridget that the beauty of His Mother surpassed that 
of all men and angels. Allowing the Saint to hear 
Him addressing Mary, He said : ' Thy beauty exceeds 
that of all angels, and of all created things.'''* She was 
most beautiful, I say ] but without prejudice to those 
who looked upon her, for her beauty banished all evil 
thoughts, and even enkindled pure ones, as Saint Am- 
brose attests : ' So great was her grace, that not only 
it preserved her own virginity, but conferred that aa- 

^ Tropin pnBoipiiain rayerentiam et ringnlariisiinain dileotionem, qopoi 
habebat ad '^ginem pnesenravit.— ^Serm. de Nat, B. M. F. oap. IL 

** Optixnai^Mirtem elegit. 

** Foit gratia plena, qma omnes gfratias gen«ralet et ipeoialM In •omnt 
haboit a qoiboi oaaoM alia ersatora yacna txAi.-~BibL Mar, in Luc 

'« In Cant g. 26. ** Or. de Inffr. B. V. 

** Omnet angelot, et omnia qjtm oreatA ranti ezoetnt pokhxttado la^^ 
Jtar. lib. L eaf^ SL 

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lairable gift of purity on those who beheld her.'^ Thii 
isconfiimed by Saint Thomas, who says, ' that sancti- 
fnng grace not only repressed all irregular motions in 
the Blessed Virgin herself but was also ef&oadous for 
oih^Tfr; so that, notwithstanding the greatness* of hec 
beaaty, she was never coveted by others."* For thk 
vaasonshe was called myrrh, which prevents cormp* 
'lion, in the words of Ecclesiasticus, applied to her by 
die Ohurch : ^' I yielded a sweet odour like the best 
myirh.'^ The labours of active life, when eng^ed in 
^A^, did not interrupt her union with God. In her 
contemplative life i^e was wrapped in Him, but not so 
M^ to cause h^ to neglect her temporal aSairs, and the 
ebaiity due jto her neighbour. She had to die, but her 
death was unaccompanied by its usual sorrows, and not 
fallowed by the corruption of the body. 

In oondusion, then, this Divine Mother is infinitely 
inferior to God, but immensely superior to all crea- 
tures } and as it is impossible to find a Son more noble 
than Jesus, so is it also impossible to find a Mother 
mote noble than Mary. Tliis reflection should cause 
Ihe dients of so great a Queen not only to rejoice in 
lier greatness, but should also increase their confidence 
in her powerfol patronage } for, says Father Suarez, as 
flhe is the Mother of God, * she has a certain peculiar 
right to His gifts,'^ to dispense them to those for whom 
Ae prays. Saint G^rmanns, on the other hand, says, 
' that Gfod cannot do otherwise than muit the petitions 
of this Mother ; for He cannot but a<£nowledee her for 
His true and Immaculate Mother.' Here are his words 
addressed to this Blessed Virgin : ' For thou, who by 
*tfay maternal authority hast great power with GxmI, ob^ 

^ Tanta «nft eint gratia, at non solum in sa virglnitatif gratiam raMf- 
"Vttct, fad atlam ma, quoa visarat, iategritatia inaigiia oonll9nat.-*JDi iiul 
Virg. tap. Til. . » ' 

** Qiaaaaaaotifloationls non tantnm repressit in ipsa (B. V.) notoi IB* 
allba, sad atlam in aliis affioadam habuit; ita itt, qnamvia asaatpnlohm tm- 
foia, a nullo unqoam oononpiad potarat-*i» 9 lib Sent diat. 9,q,U 9Xk % 
nwatianotila 1, ad 4. 

** Qnati mynfaa elAota dedi soaTttatem odoria.<^JK0els«. xwir. 00. 

** Undo fit, ut singulare las habaat ad bona Dai Vm t ' 

p, % 9p jZYiL art 1, diap. L abdt. 8. 

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01* THB AJSnSfXSnctLTlOS OF UAXT. 333 

fainest the very great grace of reoonoiliation even for. 
those who have been ^lilty of grierons mines. It is 
impossible that thou snonldst not be graciously heard } 
for God in all things complies with thy wishes as being 
those of His tme and spotless Mother.'^^ Therefore 
power to saccoor us is not wanting to thee, Mother 
of God, and Mother of ns all. The will is not want- 
ing: ^neither the power nor the will can fail her.'" 
For thou well knowest (will I say, addressing thee in 
the words of thy servant the Abbot of GeUes) that 
* Qtod did not create thee for Himself only 5 He gave 
thee to the ao^ls as their restorer, to men as their re- 
pairer, to the devils as their vanquisher ; for through 
thy means we recover Divine grace, and by thee the 
enemy is conquered and crushed.'^ 

If we really desire to please the Divine Mother, let 
us often salute her with the ^ Hail Mary.' She once 
appeared to Saint Matilda,^ and assured her that she 
was honoured by nothing more than by this salutation. 
By its means we shall certainly obtain even special 
graces from this Mother of mercy, as will be seen in 
tbe following example. 


The event recorded b^ Father Paul S^neri, in his 
' Ohristian Instructed,'^ is justly celebrated. A young 
man of vicious habits and laden with sins, went to 
eonfesskn to Father Nicholas Zucchi in Rome. The 

! *• To, Tero materna, qua polles, apud Demn anotoritate, ad qnantamTia 
•noniila lapsis pecoata saperabundantem impetrat yeniam. Neqaa ania 
naqoam dataz te non ezauditam dimitti, cai per omnia, propter omnia, ot ia 
•mnibna, atyenbetintemeratsBMairisiUB obseqaitor Dens.— J» Dorm, B, 
M. r. Orat ii. 

■^ Neo feonltafl et deeiM poterit, neo yolontas.— S. Bern. Serm, \, de At- 
nmp. B. h: ^. 

*> Non solom sibi ipei to fedt ; sed te angelifl dedit instanrationemf homi- 
nibns et nostne naturae in reparationem, inferiori creatnm in liberalionem, 
■ibi in matrem, daemonibus in hostem, detentia in Limbo in ereptiwimB. 
Nam In principio com oeoideront angeli, natnra erat corrupta, Detu offen* 
8Q8, et diabolus rictor. Sed per te, O saperbenedicta Vix^^ Maria, inno< 
oentia reparatur, vita angelica reduoitxtr, Deus homini paoificatnv ot mitii^ 
) diabolus viuckur et conteritur. — Ccnttmpl. Virg. cap. it. 

WSpir. Orat. 1.1^0.67. » P. 3, r. 3< §. 9L 

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7 confessor received him with charity, and, filled whh 
compassion for his unfortunate state, assured him that 
devotion to our Blessed Lady could deliver him from 
the accursed vice to which he was addicted ; he there- 
fore imposed on him as his penance, that he should say 
a ' Hail Mary' to the Blessed Virgin every morning 
and evening, on getting up and on going to bed, nntu 
his next confession; and, at the same time, that he 
should offer her hi^ eyes, his hands, and his whole 
body, beseeching her to preserve them as something 
belonging to herself, and that he should kiss the ground 
three times. The young man performed the penance, 
but at first there was only slight amendment. The 
father, however, continued to inculcate the same prac- 
tice on him, desiring him never to abandon it, and at 
the same time encouraged him to confide in the patron- 
age of Mary. In the mean time the penitent left Bomt 
with other companions, and during several years tra- 
velled in different parts of the world. On his return 
he again sought out his confessor, who, to his great 
joy and admiration, found that he was entirely changed, 
and free firom his former evil habits. ^ My son,' said 
he, 'how hast thou obtained so wonderful a change 
from God? The young man replied, 'Father, our 
Blessed Lady obtained me this grace on account of 
that little devotion which thou taughtest me.' Won- 
ders did not cease here. The same confessor related 
the above fact from the pulpit : a captain heard it who 
for many years had carried on improper intercourse with 
a certain woman, and determined that he also would 
practise the same devotion, that he too might be de- 
livered from the horrible chains which bound him a 
slave of the devil (for it is necessary that sinners should 
have this intention, in order that the Blessed Virrfn 
may be able to help them), and he also gave up hii 
wickedness and changed ius life. 

But still more. After six months he foolishly, and 
relying too much on his own strength, went to pay a 
visit to the woman; to see if she also was converted 

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teut on coming up to the door of the house^ where he 
was in manifest danger of relapsing into sin, he was 
driven back by an invisible power, and found himself 
as far from the house as the whole length of the street, 
and standing before his own door. He was then clearly 
given to understand that Mary had thus delivered him 
from perdition. From this we may learn how solici- 
tous our good Mother is, not only to withdraw us from 
a state of sin, if we recommend ourselves to her for thif- 

Eurpose, but also to deliver us from the danger of le- 
ipsmg into it. 


O. immaculate and holy Virgin ! O creature the 
most humble and the most exalted before God ! Thon 
wast so lowly in thine own eyes, but so great in the 
eyes of thy Lord, that He exalted thee to such a de- 
gree as to choose thee for His Mother, and then made 
thee Queen of heaven and earth. I therefore thank 
God who so greatly has exalted . thee, aud rejoice in 
seeing thee so closely united with Him, thai more can- 
not be granted to a pure creature. Before thee, who 
art so humble, though endowed with such precious 
gifts, I am ashamed to appear, I who am so proud in 
the midst of so many sins. But miserable as I am, 
I will also salute thee, " Hail, Mary, full of grace.'' 
Thou art already full of grace; impart a portion of 
it to me. " Our Lord is with thee." That Lord who 
was always with thee from the first moment of thy 
creation, nas now united Himself more closely to thee 
by becoming thy Son. "Blessed art thou amongst 
women.*' Lady, blessed amongst all women, obtain 
the Divine blessing for us also. " And blessed is the 
fruit of thy womb." blessed plant which hath given 
to the world so noble and holy a fruit ! * Holy Mary, 
Mother of God I' Mary, I acknowledge that thou 
art the true Mother of God, and in defence of this 
truth I am ready to give my life a thousand times 

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^ Pray for us sinners/ But if tbou art the Mothei of 
God, thou art also the Mother of our salvation, and of 
us poor sinners j since God became man to save sinners, 
and made thee His Mother, that thy prayers might 
have power to save any sinner. Hasten, then, Mary, 
and pray for us, * now, and at the hour of our death/ 
Pray always : pray now, that we live in the midst of 
so many temptations and dangers of losing God ; but 
still more, pray for us at the hour of our death, when 
we are on die point of leaving this world, and being 
presented before God's tribunal ; that, being saved by 
the merits of Jesus Christ and by thy intercession, we 
may come one day, without further danger of being 
lofity to salute thee and praise thee with thy Son im 
iMftTen for all eternity. Amen. 

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Ma/rp is the Treasurer qfdU Divine Chraces ; fhterefixre^ 
whoever desires Chraces must hatt^e recourse to Mary; 
and he who has recourse to Mary may he certain qf 
obtaining the Ghraces he desires. 

FoBTTTNATB does that family oonBider "itself wHoli !• 
visited by a royal personage, both on account of the 
honour that redounds firom such a visit, and the advan- 
tages that may be hoped to accrue from it But still 
more fortunate should that soul consider itself which 
is visited by the Queen of the world, the most holy 
Virgin Mary, who cannot but fill with riches and graces 
those blessed souls whom she deigns to visit by her 
favours. The house of Obededom was blessed when 
visited by the ark of God : "And the Lord blessed his 
house.''^ But with how much greater blessings are 
those persons enriched who receive a loving visit from 
this living ark of God, for such was the Divine Mother ! 
* Happy is that house which the Mother of God visits,** 
says Engelgi-ave. This was abundantly experienced by 
the house of Saint John the Baptist ; for Mary had 
scarcely entered it when she heaped graces and hea- 
venly benedictions on the whole family; and for this 
reason the present feast of the visitation is commonly 
called that of ' our Blessed Lady of Graces.' Henc# 
we shall see in the present discourse that the Divine 
Mother is the treasurer of all graces. We shall divide 

1 Et benedbdt Dominoi donrai eliu, et onmlbui qiw habebat^— 1 Prn t rn M/k 
Xiii.. 14. 
' FeliY Utar 4o««s <iaMi Milv Pti ▼Wtia.^-aA ^iMib. «i rtii I IL 

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it into two paxts. In the first we shall see that who- 
ever desires graces must have recourse to Mary. In 
the second, that he who has recourse to Mary should 
be confident of receiving the graces he desires. 

First point — ^After the Blessed Virgin had heard 
fix)m the archangel Gabriel that her cousin Saint Eli 
zabeth had been six months pregnant, Bhe was inter- 
nally enlightened by the Holy Ghost to know that the 
Incarnate Word, who had become her Son, was pleased 
then to manifest" to the world the riches of His mercy 
in the first graces that He desired to impart to all that 
fiamily. Therefore, without interposing any delay, ac- 
cording to Saint Luke, " Mary, rising up, . . . went into 
the hifl-country with haste."^ Rising from the quiet 
of <K)ntemplation to which she was always devoted, and 
quitting her beloved solitude, she immediately set out 
for the dwelling of Saint Elizabeth j and because " cha- 
rity beareth j51 things,"* and cannot support delay, 
as Saint Ambrose remarks on this Gospel, ' the Holy 
Ghost knows not slow undertakings ;'^ without even 
reflecting on the arduousness of the journey, this tender 
Virffin, I say, immediately undertook it. On reaching 
the house, she salutes her cousin : " And she entered 
into the house of Zachary, and saluted Elizabeth.''^ 
Saint Ambrose here remarks that Mary was ' the first 
to salute'^ Elizabeth. The visit of Mary, however, had 
no resemblance with those of worldlings, which, for the 
greater part, consist in ceremony and outward demon- 
strations, devoid of all sincerity ; for it brought with 
it an accumulation of graces. The moment she entered 
that dwelling, on her first salutation, Elizabeth was filled 
with the Holy Ghost 5 and Saint John was cleansed 
from original sin, and sanctified ; and therefore gave 
that mark of joy by leaping in his mother's womb, 

* Ezsnrgens autem liaria in diebui Ulis abiit in montana com feitinatioiM. 
-Xiio. i. 39. 

^ Charitas omnia faffert— 1 Cor. ziii. 7. 

' Neioit tarda molimina Sanoti Spiritoi gratia.— JBbp. JBvana, gee, Lma^ 
Ub. iL no. 19. 

* Et intravit in domam Zacharitt, et salatavit Elisabeth.— Xii«. L 40. 
' Nao lolain ranit, fed «tiam priiir iaIotaTit--X«e. cAL bo. S9k 

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wisliing thereby to manifest the grace that he had re> 
ceived by the means of the Blessed Virgin, as Saint 
Elizabeth herself declared : " As soon as the voice of 
thy salutation sonnded in my ears, the infant in my 
womb leaped for joy."* Thus, as Bernardino de Bustia 
lemarks, in virtae of Mary's salutation Saint John re- 
oeired the grace of the Divine Spirit which sanctified 
him : ^ When the Blessed Virgin saluted Elizabeth, the 
voice of the salutation, entering her ears, descended to 
the child, and by its virtue he received the Holy Ghost.'* 

And now, if all these first-fruits of Redemption 
passed by Mary as the channel through which grace 
was conmiunicated to the Baptist, the Holy Ghost to 
Elizabeth, the gift of prophecy to Zachary and so 
many other blessings to the whole house, the first 
graces which to our knowledge the Eternal Wotd had 
granted on earth after His Incarnation, it is quite 
correct to believe that from thenceforward God made 
Maiy the universal channel, as she is called by Saint 
Bernard, through which all the other graces which our 
Lord is pleased to dispense to us should pass, as we 
have already declared in the fifth chapter of the first 
part of this work. 

With reason, then, is this Divine Mother called 
the treasure, the treasurer, and the dispenser of Divine 
^^u^es. She is thus called by the venerable Abbot oi 
Celles, ' the Treasure of God, and the Treasurer of 
graces f^^ by Saint Peter Damian, ' the Treasure of 
Divine graces f^^ by Blessed Albert the Great, ' the 
Treasurer of Jesus Christ f^ by Saint Bemardine, * the 
Dispenser of graces ;'^ by a learned Greek, quoted by 

* Eooe eDim at iboia Mt toz salntatioaifl ttus in aaribas meit, eztaltaTil 
to ffsodlo iniluM in atero meo.^Lue. i. 44. 

'^Ohristiu feeit Manam lalQtare Elizabeth, nt sermo prooedenf de nteio 
Ifatris nbi habitabat Dominot, per anret Elisabeth ingrewos deaoenderet 
ad Joannem : at illio earn ongeret in prophetam. — MaruU. P. yi. Serm. L 

>* Thetaorns Domini est, et theeaoraria natianun ipdos^^Cmlempi dt 
B, V, M. in ProL 
» Gaiophylaoiam tbetaari.— /S^rm. iL d$ Not B, M, F. 
" Theaaoraria Jesa Christi. t 
"IMipMMatrizooiniQmgmtianun.— vSmn diJBvott. A Jf. Y.w^VLm^X 

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PetavinS; Hlie St(»6boci8eK>f all good ihings.'^^ So also 
by Saint Gregory ThaumatarCTS; who observes that 
^Mary is said to be thus fall of grace, for in her all tho 
treasures of graces were hidden.'^ Biohard of St. Law- 
reiice also says that ' Mary is a treasure; because God 
has placed all gifts of graces in her aa in a treasiuy } 
and from thence He bestows great stipends on His sol* 
diers and labonrers.'^^ She is a treasiuy of meroieS| 
whence our Lord enriches His servants. 

Saint Bonaventure, speaking of the field in the 
gospel; in which a trcKBSure is hidden, and which should 
be purchased at however great a price, '^ the kingdom of 
heaven is like unto a treasure hidden in a field, which 
a man having found hid it, and for joy thereof ^oeth 
and selleth ^1 that he hath and buyeth that fieid,"^^ 
says that ^ our Queen Mary is this field, in which Jesos 
Christ, the treasure of God the Father, is hid,'" and 
with Jesus Christ the source and flowing fountain of 
all graces. Saint Bernard affirms that our Lord 'has 
deposited the plenitude of every grace in Mary, that 
we may thns know that if we possess hope, grace, or 
anything salutary, that it is from her that it came.'^ 
Of this we are also assured by Mary herself, saying, 
" In me is all grace of the way and of the truth j'"* in 
me are all the graces of real blessings that you men oaa 
desire in life. Yes, sweet Mother and our Hope, we 
know full well, says Saint Peter Damian, 'that all the 

^ Tq promtaariiim omnium Ixmornm. t 

^ Com ipsa, total gratis thesaonif reoonditiis ent^Serm. L in Jnmtmi, 

B. M. r, 

" Mar^a est fhesanros : quia in ea, nt in gazophylado^ reposoit Domlani 
omnia dona gratiarom, mentorum, Tirtotiun et praBn^tiTammf donoraiD 
ot oharismatom : etde thesacrolajvitaripsolaic^stipendia toiruilitibiif 
ot operaitis.— i>e Laud, V. 1 iv. o. 31. 

1' Simile est reg^om coeloram thesamo absoondito in agro : qnemavi ia- 
venit homo,al>soondit, et pne gaadio illius vadit et yendit uniTena qui aabel^ 
et emit agrom iUnm.— Jfoit. ziii. 44. 

u Ager iste est Maria, in qoa thesaurus angelorum, imo totos DM FftMl 
absoonditos etL^Spee. B. M. F. lect vii 

1* Totius boni plenitadinem posuit in Maria ; ut proinde si quid ipsi te 
nobis est si quid gratiie, si quid salutis, ab ea noyerimns redundan. SmM% 

** b no fiBtia oauiis y\m et ToritatiSb— JBp^Im. xzIt. Vk 

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treasures of Divine mercies are in thy hands."^ Before 
Saint Peter Damian^ Saint Ildepbonsns asserted the 
same thing in even stronger terms, when, speaking to 
the Blessed Virgin, he said, ' Lady, all the graces 
that God^ has decreed for men He has determined to 
grant through thy hands ; and therefore to thee has He 
committed all the-treasores and ornaments of grace f^ 
so that, Maiy, conclades Saint Oermanns, no grace 
is dispensed to any one otherwise than through thy 
hands ; ^ there is no one saved .but by thee ; no one 
who receives a gift of Grod but through thee.'^ Blessed 
Albert the Great makes a beautiful paraphrase of the^ 
words of the angel addressed to the most Blessed Yir- 
n, " Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with 
d.'^ < Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found, not 
taken grace, as Lucifer tried to take it ; thou hast not 
lost it as Adam lost it -, thou hast not bought it as 
Simon Magus would have bought it ^ but thou hast 
found it because thou hast desired and sought it.'* 
Thou hast found increated grace j that is, Q^d Himself 
become thy Son ^ and with that grace thou hast found 
and obtained every created good. Saint Peter Chryso- 
logus confirms this thought, saying, ' This great Virgin 
and Mother found grace to restore thereby salvation to 
ail men.'* And elsewhere he says that Mary found a 
grace so full that it sufficed to save all : ' Thou hast 
found grace, but how great a grace 1 It was such that 
it filled thee ; and so great was its plenitude, that it 

n In mantbnf tiilf rant thetaoii mlfenttonmn DominL— «SsrM. fl. In ITai, 

mM. r. 

M Omnia bona, qna illii ranuna m^Jeitas deonrlt iboen^ talt nunibui 
deoravlt oommendare ; oommiaii qoippe tibi sont fhennri «t omamenta gm> 
ttanim.— Jn Cor, Virff. oap. xr. 

»NiilliM«nim6tt, qui talyns flat, OSanotiMima, nisi per te . . .n«me«t^ 
Old donnm ooncedator, nlai per te, O Castiwima.— i>e Zon, F. 

^ Ne timeas, Maria, inyenisti enim gpratiam apad Denm.— £«e. L 30. 

^ Ne tlmeas, quia inyenisti gratiam apod Deum, non oreafti at Deoa . • 
■on rapnisti at jnimna angelog, non perdidisti at primos parena, non mdIiII 
vt Simon Maffos : sed inyenisti, quia qasBsiyisti at Vizgo pradenttasima, do* 
eniati at fidelJMima, reddidisti at 1L\mI mioerioordlraima. Inyentetl qaid J 
dioo, Dei miBerantis oharitatem, Del promittentis yeritatem, tai ad boo ido- 
Mitatenu— BiU, Mar, in Luc 

yHanojpatiam detolit aogehiai aioeepit Viiyo aalntom MMolit nddttuk 

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eoald be poured doym as a torrent on e^ ery creature.'** 
So mneh so indeed, says Richard of Saint Lawrence, 

* that as God made the son, that by its means light 
might be diffused on the whole earth, so as He made 
Mary, that by her all Divine mercies may be dispensed 
to the world.'^^ Saint Bemardine adds, that 'from 
the time that the Virgin Mother c(mceived the Divine 
Word in her womb, she obtained a kind of jurisdiction, 
60 to say, over all the temporal manifestations of the 
Holy Ghost ; so that no creature can obtain any grace 
from God that is not dispensed by this tender and 
compassionate mother,'^ 

Hence let us conclude this point in the words of 
Richard of Saint Lawrence, who says, ' that if we wish 
to obtain any grace, we must have recourse to Mary, 
the finder of ^ace, who cannot but obtain all that she 
asks for her servants ; for sue has recovered the Divine 
grace which was lost, and always finds it.'^ This 
thought he borrowed from Saint Bernard, who says, 

* Let us seek for grace, and seek it by Mary ; for that 
which she seeks she fiids, and cannot be frustrated.'^^ 
If we, then, desire graces, we must go to this treasurer 
and dispenser of graces ; for it is the sovereign will of 
the Giver of every good thing ; and we are assured of it 
by the same Saint Bernard, that all graces should be 
dispensed by the hands of Mary : ' for such is His 
wiU, who is pleased that we should have all by Mary.'® 
AU, aU ; and he who says all excludes nothing. But' 
because confidence is necessary to obtain graces, we will 
now consider how certain we ought to feel of obtaining 
them when we have recourse to Mary. 

tin yenisti giatiam. Qaantam I qaantam saperins dixerat. Plenamil 
fwe plenam, qtue \axgo imbro totam funderet et infiinderet et oreataram 
^'Serm. ii. d6 Annunt. 

* SioQtBOl ad hoc faaixu ett, at lllaminet totnm mandam, slo Maria ad 
Jioe UttiSk est a Deo Trinitate, ut miserioordiam, veniam, gratiam, etgloriam, 
tfoami lumen a Deo impetret toti mondo.— De L<md. F. L vU. o. 3. 

» Pro Pert. V. M. «. 5. c. 8. 

**Oapieiite« inyenire gratiam, ^^UBramtu inventricem mtis, Mariam, 
«|iu» qafai aenqMr invenit, frurtrari non poterit. — De Laud, V. lib. ii. cap. & 

*> Qoamtmus gratiam, et per Mariam qaaeramus: quia quod qunrit, in^ 
▼enit, et frcntnri dob potert— /Serm. <U Aqtued, 

** Quia lio ert Tolontat q}ai, qui TOTUH noe habere Toiidt per MariaM,— Ik 

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Seeond^pomt — Why did Jesus Christ deposit all the 
riches of meroy which He intends for us in the hands 
of His Mother, unless it was that she might therewith 
enrich all her clients who love her, who honour her, 
and who have recourse to her with confidence 1 " With 
jne are riches . . . that I may enrich them that love me.''^ 
Thus the Blessed Virgin herself assures us that it is so 
in this passage, which the Holy Church applies to her 
on so many of her festivals, therefore for no other 
purpose than to serve us, says the Abbot Adam, are' 
those riches of eternal life kept by Mary, in whose 
breast our Lord has deposited the treasure of the miser- 
able, and that the poor being supplied from it may 
become rich : ' The riches of salvation are in custody of 
the Blessed Virgin for our use. Christ has made Mary's 
womb the treasury of the poor ; thence the poor axe 
enriched.'^ And Saint Bernard says, ' that she is a 
full aqueduct, that others may receive of her pleni- 
tude.'^ Mary was therefore given to the world that 
her graces might continually descend from heaven upon 

Hence 'the same holy father goes on to ask, 'But 
why did Saint Gabriel, having found the Divine Mother 
aheady full of grace, according to his salutation, " Hail, 
^11 of grace P afterwards say, that the Holy Ghost 
would come upon her to fill her still more with grace ? 
If she was already full of grace, what more could the 
coming of the Divine Spirit effect V The Saint answers, 
' Mary was akeady fuU of grace ; but the Holy Ghost 
filled her to overflowing, for our good, that from her 
Kiperabundance we miserable creatures might be pro- 
vided.^ For this same reason Maiy was called the 

** Meoom sant diyituB et gloria . . . ut ditem diligentes me. — Prov. yiii. 

** DJvitin •alntis penes Virginem nostris usibat reservantur. Ghristas in 
Virginis ntero pauperum gazophylacium collocavit ; inde paaperes spirita 
locnpletati snnt.— Titeltnan, Alleg. utr. Test. 

** Plenns aquaedactus, ut accipiant cseteri de plenitndine . . . propter»« 
tanto tempore hamano generi fluenta gratise defuerunt, quod nenduiP inter- 
eederet is de quo loquimurtamdesiderabilisaquttductus. — Serm. cU AmmtU 

" Ad qui^ niti ut adTeniente Jam spiritn olena, sibi eodem sopervt ^ent^ 
'■0bi»quota«Mp6rpleiiA et toperi^aeiiffiatr— <8fnii.iL d».i«aMifi ^ V r 

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moon of wbicli it is said, * She is fall for herself and 

" He that shall find me shall find life, and shaU 
have salvation from the Lord.''^ Blessed is he who 
finds me by having recom^e to me, says our Mother. 
He will find life, and will find it easily ] for as it is 
easy to find and draw as much water as we please from 
a great fountain, so it is easy to find graces and eternal 
salvation by having recourse to Mary. A holy soul 
once said, ' We have only to seek graces from our 
Blessed Lady to receive them.' Saint Bernard also 
says, ^ That it was because the Blessed Virgin was not 
yet born that in ancient times' the great abundance of 
grace which we now see fiow on the world was wanting} 
for Mary, this desirable channel, did not exist.' But 
now that we have this Mother of mercy, what graces 
are there that we need fear not to obtain when we cast 
ourselves at her feet ? ' I am the city of refuge' (thus 
Saint John Damascen makes her speak) 'for all those 
who have recourse to me.' 'Come, then, to me, my 
children; for firom me you will obtain graces, and these 
in greater abundance than you can possibly imagine.'* 

It is true that that which the Venerable Sister 
Mary Villani saw in a celestial vision is experienced 
by many. This servant of God once saw the Divine 
Mother as a great fountain, to which many went, and 
fi'om it they carried off the waters of grace in great 
abundance. But what then happened 1 Those who 
had sound jars preserved the graces they received; 
but those who brought broken vessels, that is to say, 
those whose souls were burdened with sin, received 
graces, but did not long preserve them. It is, how- 
ever, certain that men, even those who are ungratefdl 
sinners tind the most miserable, daily obtain innumer- 
able graces from Mary. Saint Augustine, addressing 

^ Luna pleia sibl «t alUs. 

*> Qui me invenerit, inyenlat Titam, et hauriet lalatein a Domina —iViaw. 

" Bgo fit qui ad me oonftigiiiiii, otrltaf refhgii. AooedUe popnli earn 
Ide et rta^Hanam dona alBiMntfMiiiM liaiurite.~j^M. fi. in DmrwtiL AM.f 

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^the Blessed Virgin, saySi ' Tbrougli thee do fiie misera- 
ble obtain mercy^ the nngraoioos jspracO; siimers pardon, 
the weak strength, the . worldly heavenly things, 
mortals life, and pilgrims their country.'^ 

Let ns, then, devout clients of Mary, rouse our- 
selves to greater and greater confidence each time that 
we have recourse to her for graces. T^at we may do 
•0, let us always remember two great prerogatives of 
this good Mother ; her great desire to do us good, and 
the power she has with her Son to obtain whatever she 
asks. To be convinced of the desire that Mary Las to he 
of service to all, we need only consider the mystery of the 
present festival, that is, Mary's visit to Saint Elizabeth. 
The journey from Nazareth, where the most Blessed Vir- 
gin lived, to the city of Judea, in which Saint Elizabeth 
resided, was one of at least sixty-nine miles, as we learn 
from Brother Joseph of Jesus Mary, the author of a life 
of the Blessed Virgin,*^ Bede, and Brocardus ; but, not- 
withstanding the arduousness of the undertaking, the 
Blessed Virgin, tender and delicate as she then was, 
and unaccustomed to such fatigue, did not delay her 
departure. And what was it that impelled her? It 
was that great charity with which her most tender 
heart was ever filled that drove her, so to say, to go 
and at once commence her great office of dispenser of 
graces. Precisely thus does Saint Ambrose speak of 
her journey : ' She did not go in incredulity of the 
prophecy, but glad to do what she had undertaken j 
it was joy that hastened her steps, in the fulfilment 
of a religious office ;'** the Saint thereby meaning, that 
ehe did not undertake the journey to inquire into the 
truth of what the angel had pronounced to her of «he 
pregnancy of St. Elizabeth, but exulting in the great- 

^Ter te tuereditamiu miserioordiam miieri, ingrati cratiam, vedtaiii 
P««oatore8, snblimia inflrmi, ocelestia terreni, mortales Titam, et patriav 
perurrinL — Serm. de Auump, B. M. V, t 

« Lib. m. 0.22. 

^ Ubi audivit hoc Maria, non quasi inoredula de oraculo, neo quasi in* 
eerta de nnntio, neo quasi duhitans de exemplo : sed quasi Iseta pro toCo, 
nligioea pro officio, festina pro gaudio, in montana perrezit— £q>. Mv, tm 

i«2ia».£no.iar *' • ' *- 

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nes8 of her desire to be of service to that family, and 
hastening for the joy she felt in doing good to others, 
and wholly intent on that work of charity : " Rising, 
she went with haste." Hepe, let it be observed, the 
Evangelist, in speaking of Mary's departure for the 
house of Elizabeth, says, that she went with haste ^ 
but when he speaks of her return, he no longer say« 
anything of haste, but simply that " Mary abode with 
her about three months ; and she returned to her own 
house.''*^ What other object, then, asks Saint Bona* 
venture, could the Mother of God have had in view, 
when she hastened to visit the house of Saint John 
the Baptist, if it was not the desire to render service 
to that family ? ' What caused her to hasten in the 
performance of that act of charity but the charity 
which burnt in her heart f^ This charity of Mary 
towards men certainly did not cease when she went 
to heaven ; nay more, it greatly increased there, for 
there she better knows our wants, and has still greater 
compassion for our miseries. Bemardine de Bustis 
writes, 'that Mary desires more earnestly to do us 
good and grant us graces than we desire to receive 
them.'*^ So much so, that Saint Bonaventure says, 
that she considers herself offended by those who do 
not ask her for graces : ' Not only those, O Lady, 
offend thee who outrage thee, but thou art also of- 
fended by those who neglect to ask thy favours.'** For 
Mary's desire to enrich all with graces is, so to say, a 
part of her nature, and she superabundantly enriches 
her servants, as blessed Raymond Jordano affirms: 
^ Mary is God's treasure, and the treasurer of His graces : 
she plentifully endows her servants with choice gifts.*'^ 

^ Mansit antem Maria oam ilia quasi mensibos tribna : et reyena eit 3a 
domain suam. — Iajuo. i. 56. 

^ Quid earn ad officiom charitatis festinare cogebat, nisi charitas, qua in 
«orde ejus fervebat. — Sptc. B. M. V. lect iv. 

^ Plus enim desiderat ipsa facere tibi bonum, et largiri aliquam giatiajn, 
^uam tu aocipere concupiscas.— if^arial. P. ii. Serm. v. dt Nat. B. M. V, 

^ In te, Domina, peccant non solum qui tibi injuriam irrogant, sad etiaat 
^ni te non rogant — Spec. B. M. V. t 

^ Maria thesaurus Domini est et tbesauraria gratiarom ipidas. Doait 
fpMialilraf ditat oopi«sissime senisntes sibL— 09n^em2>2. B, M, F. in j/ni^ 

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OJ" THB rtaVTATtOlSf OF UASS. 347 

Hence the same author says, that 'he who finds 
Mary finds every good.'^ And he adds, that every one 
3an find her, even the most miserable sinner in the 
^orld; for she is so benign that she rejects none 
leho have recourse to her : * Her benignity is such, 
that no one need fear to approach her. * And her 
mercy is so great, that no one meets with a repulse.'^ 
Thomas k Kempis makes her say : ' I invite all to have 
recourse to me ; I expect all, I desire aU, and I never 
ddspise any sinner, however unworthy he may be, who 
comes to seek my aid.'^ Kiohard of St. I^wrenoe says, 
that whoevOT goes to ask graces &om Mary ' finds her 
always prepared to help f^ that is, she is always ready 
and inclined to help us, and to obtain us ev^ grace 
of eternal salvation by her powerful prayers. 

I say, by her powerful prayers ; for anoth^ reflec- 
tion, which should increase our confidence, is, that we 
know and are certain that she obtains of God all tibiat 
she asks for her clients. Observe especially, says Saint 
Bonaventure, in this visit of Mary to Saint Ehzabethi 
the great power of her words. According to the Evan- 
gelist, at the sound of her voice the grace of the Holy i 
Ghost was conferred on Saint Elizabeth, as well as on 
her son Saint John the Baptist : '' And it came to pass, 
that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, th« 
infant leaped in^her womb, and she was filled with the 
Holy Ghost.''^ On this text Saint Bonaventure sam 
' See how great is the power of the words of our Laay^ 
for no sooner has she pronounced them, than the Holy 
Ghost is given.'^ Theophilus of Alexandria says, ' that 
Jesus is greatly pleased when Mary intercedes with 
Him for us; for all the graces which He is, so to 

*• Inrenta . . . Vii^fine Maria, invenitnr omne bonmn. — lb, 

*^ Tanta qnoque est ejns benignitas, qnod nolli formidandma Mi ad Ma 
aooedere ; tantaque miserioordia, quod ab ea nemo repellitnr. — lb. 

*• Otnnes invito, omnes ezpeoto, otnnes venire desidexo, nullum peooa- 
torem de8picio.--.Soh7o^. An. cap. xadv. 

** Inveniet semper paratam anxiliari. — De Laud. B. Jf. 1. 3. p. 1. 

** Et fitctum est, ut audivit salutationem MarisB Elizabeth, ezsulta^ft 
fn&ns in utero ^Jus ; et repleta est Spiritu Sancto Elizabeth. — Luc 1. 41. 

** \ide quanta virtus sit in verbis Dominss, quia ad eorum proniuili«li0* 
••m eonfcrtar Spiritu Sanotaa.— ifM. ViL QkriiUt cap. r. 

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Bay; foioed to grant through her prayers. He conaidem 
as granted not so much to us as to hersell'^ And 
remark the words, ^forced by the prayers of His 
Mother/ Yes, for, as Saint GhBrmanos attests, Jesus 
cannot do otherwise than graciously accede to all that 
Mary asks ; wishing, as it were, in this to obey her as 
His true Mother. Hence the Saint says, that ^the 
prayers of this Mother have a certain maternal author- 
ity with Jesus Christ ; so that she obtains the grace 
of pardon even for those who have been guilty ol 
grievous crimes, and commend themselves to her j ^ and 
then he concludes : ^ for it is not possible that thou 
shouldst not be graciously heard } for God in all thin^ 
acts towards thee as His true and spotless Mother.^ 
This is fully confirmed, as Saint John Ghrysostom ob 
serves, by what took place at the marriage-feast of 
Oana, when Mary asked her Son for wine, which 
had failed : " They have no wine.'' Jesus answered •, 
" Woman, what is that to Me and to thee ? My houi 
is not yet come.''" But though the time for miracles 
waa not yet come, as Saint Ghrysostom and Theo- 
phylact explain it ; yet, says Saint Ghrysostom, ' the 
Saviour, notwithstandiHg His answer, and toobeyJEis 
Mother, worked the miracle she asked for,'^ and con 
verted the water into wine. 

^' Let us go, therefore, with confide^e to the throne 
of grace," says the Apostle, exhorting us, " that we may 
obtain mercy, and find grace in seasonable aid."" * The 
throne of grace is the Blessed Virgin Mary,'" says 
blessed Albert the Great. If, then, we wish for graces, 
let us go to the Throne of Grace, which is Mary ; and 
let us go with the certain hope of being heard ; for we 

M Oaadet illins orante Matre, quia omnia qon nobis predbna mm gmi 
\rMM evletos donat, ipsi Matii se donasse putat— <8aZa«ar. in i'roo. TiU. 18 

<* In Donn. B. M. V. Orat U. See page 336, 81. 

'^Dioit Mater Jeta ad earn: Vinnm non babent. Et dioit el Jesna*. 
Quid inibi et tibi est, mulierf nondum yenit bora mea.— «/ban. iL 3w 4. 

Sf Oom id, inqoam, respondisset, qaod yolebat Mater effedt— in Jotm. 
Bdmik xxil 

o Adeamns ergo oum fidaoia ad thronom gratisB, et miserioMdiam 0(» 
itqaamiir, et grauam inyeniamns in auzilio opportono. — Heb. iy. 18. 

* Thvonas gmtiai Mt B. Viigo Maria.- iSem. liii. ds i>tdft& Jtei 

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have Mary's intercession, and she obtains from her Son 
all whatever she asks. ' Let us seek for grace/ 1 repeat 
with Saint Bernard, ' and let ns seek it through Mary,^ 
trusting to what the Blessed Virgin Mother herself said 
to Saint Matilda, that the Holy Glost, filling her with 
all His sweetness, has rendered her so dear to God, that 
whoever seeks graces through her intercession is certain 
to obtain them.^^ 

And if we credit that celebrated saying of Saint 
Anselm, ' that salvation is occasionally more easily ob- 
tained by calling on the name of Mary than by invok- 
ing that of Jesus /® we shall sometimes sooner obtain 
graces by having recourse to Mary than by having direct- 
ly recourse to our Saviour Jesus Himself ; not that He 
is not the source and Lord of all graces, but because, 
when we have recourse to the Mother, and she prays 
for us, her prayers have greater efficacy than ours, as 
being those of a mother. Let us then never leave the 
feet of this treasurer of graces ; but ever address her in 
the words of Saint John Damascen : ' Blessed Mother 
of God, open to us the gate of Mercy; for thou art the 
salvation of the human race.*^ Mother of God, open 
to us the door of thy compassion, by always praying 
for us } for thy prayers are the salvation of all men. 
When we have recourse to Mary, it would be advisable 
to entreat her to ask and obtain us the graces which 
she knows to be the most expedient for our salvation ; 
this is precisely what the Dominican Brother Reginald 
did, as it is related in the chronicles of the order.** This 
servant of Mary was ill, and he asked her to obtain him 
the recovery of his health. His sovereign Lady ap- 
peared to him, accompanied by Saint Cecily and Saint 
Catherine, and said with the greatest sweetness, ' My 

** Qrueramiu gratiam, et per Mariam qusramiu. — Serm. de Aqumd. 

'1 Spiritu8 Sanotus tota sua duloedine me penetrando, tarn gratiosam 
•ffecit, ut onmiA qui per me gratiam quserit, ipeam inyeniet. — Spir, Orat. 1. 1. 

^ Velooior ert nomiimqaam saltu memorato nomine ejus (Mazitt), quam 
faiTOoato nomine Domini Jeso. — De Excel. B. M, V. cap. vi. 

" ]i3flOTioordi» Januam aper inobis, benedicta Deipara ; tu enim es salna 
I kamnU^ih .AiMMfK. •* Lib. i. p. L oap. 33. 

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350 07 THB nsrrATWX OT HAST. 

son, wliat dost tbou <j[esire of me f The religbns wai 
confuBed at so gracious an ofier on the part of Hacy, 
and knew not what to answer. Then one of the saints 
gave him this advice : Reginald; I will tell thee what 
to do *j ask for nothing, but place thyself entirely in her 
hands, for Mary will know how to grant thee a greatet 
grace than thou canst possibly ask. The sick man fol- 
lowed this advice, and the Divine Mother obtained the 
re^tablishment of his health. 

But if we also desire the happiness of receiving the 
visits of tbis Queen of Heaven, we should often visit hex 
by going before her image, or praying to her in churobes 
dedicated in her honour. Read the following example, 
in which you will see with what spedal favouis she re- 
wards the devout visits of her clients. 


In the Franciscan chronicles it is related, that two 
religious of that order, who were going to visit a sanc- 
tuary of the Blessed Virgin, were overtaken by ni^ht in 
a great forest, where they became so bewilderea and 
troubled, that they knew not what to do. But, ad- 
vancing a little further, dark as it was, they thought 
they discovered a house. They went towards it, and 
felt the wall with their hands ; they sought the door, 
knocked, and immediately heard some one within ask- 
ing who they were. They replied that they were two 
poor religious, who had lost their way in the forest, and 
that they begged at least for shelter, that they might 
not be devoured by the wolves. In an instant the ddors 
were thrown open, and two pages richly dressed stood 
before them, and received them with the greatest cour- 
tesy. The religious asked them who resided in that 
place. The pages replied that it was a most compas- 
sionate Lady. "We should be glad to present her our 
respects, and thank her for her charity. ^ She alao, 
the pages answered, ' wishes to see you ; and we are 
now going to conduct you into her presenoe,' Tber 

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ascended the staircase, and found all tlie apartmenti 
illuminated, richly furnished, and scented with an odour 
of Paradise. Finally, they entered the apartment of 
the Lady, who was majestic and most beautiful in her 
appearance. She received them with the greatest affa- 
bility, and then asked them where they were going. 
They answered, that they were going to visit a oertaia 
church of the Blessed Virgin. ' 0, since that is the 
case,' she replied, ' I will give you before you go a letter, 
which will be of great service to you.' Whilst the Lady 
was addressing them, they felt their hearts inflamed 
with the love of God, and an internal joy which they 
had never before experienced. They then retired to 
sleep, if, indeed, they could do so, overcome as they 
were by the happiness they experienced } and in the 
morning they again went to take leave of the Lady and 
thank her, and also to receive the letter, which she gave 
them, and they then departed. But when they got a 
short distance from the house, they perceived that the 
letter had no direction ^ they turned about, and sought 
first on one side, then on the other, but in vain ^ they 
could no longer find the house. Finally, they opened 
the letter to see for whom it was meant, and what it 
contained j and they found that it was from the most 
Blessed Virgin Mary," and addressed to themselves. In 
it she told them that she was the Lady whom they had 
seen the night before, and that on account of their de- 
votion for her she had provided a lodging and refresh- 
ment for them in that wood. She exhorted them to 
continue to serve and love her, for she always would 
amply rewai'd their devotion, and would succor them 
in fife and at death. At the foot of the page they read 
her signature : 'I, Mary the Virgin.' Let each one 
here imagine the gratitude of these good religious, and 
how they thanked the Divine Mother, and how greatly 
they were inflamed with the desire to love and serva 
her fur their whole lives.^ 

<* LyMoi, Trii. Bfar. L 2. m. ^ 

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352 air thb txsitation or mabt. 


Immaculate and Blessed Virgin; since thou art tlie 
omversal dispenser of all divine graces, thou art tbe 
hope of all, and my hope. I will ever thank my Lord 
for having granted me the grace to know thee, and for 
having shown me the means by which I may obtain 
graces and be saved. Thou art this means, great 
Mother of God j for I now understand that it is princi- 
pally through the merits of Jesus Christ, and then 
through thy intercession, that my soul must be saved. 
Ah ! my Queen,. thou didst hasten so greatly to visit, 
and by that means didst sanctify tbe dwelling of Saint 
Elizabeth ; deign, then, to visit, and visit quickly, the 
poor house of my soul. Ah ! hasten, then ; for thou 
well knowest, and far better than I do, how poor it is> 
and with how many maladies it is afflicted j ^ith dis- 
ordered affections, evil habits, and sins committed, all 
of which are pestiferous diseases, which would lead it 
to eternal de^th. Thou canst enrich it, O Treasurer of 
God ; and thou canst heal all its infirmities. Visit me, 
then, in life, and visit me especially at the moment of 
death, for then I shall more than ever requure thy aid. 
I do not indeed expect, neither am I worthy, that thou 
Bhouldst visit me on this earth with thy visible pres- 
ence, as thou hast visited so many of thy servants j but 
they were not unworthy and ungrateful as I am. I 
am satisfied to see thee in thy kingdom of heaven, there 
to be able to love thee more, and thank thee for all 
that thou hast done for me. At present I am satisfied 
that thou shouldst visit me with thy mercy 5 thy prayers 
flure all that I desire. 

Pray, then, Mary, for me, and commend me t6 
thy Son. Thou, far bettw than I do, knowest my 
miseries and my wants. What more can I say 1 Pity 
me ; I am so miserable and ignorant, that I neither 
know nor can I seek for, the graces that I stand the 
most in need of. My most sweet Queen and Mviher; 

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do thou seek and obtain for me from thy Soi those 
graces which thou knowest to be the most expedient 
and necessary for my soul. I abandon myself entirely 
into thy hands, and only beg the Divine Majesty, that 
by the merits of my Saviour Jesus He will grant mo 
the graces which thou askest Him for me. Ask, ask, 
then, most Holy Virgin, that which thou seest best 
for me ; thy prayers are never rejected ; they are the 
prayers of a Mother addressed to a Son, who loves 
thee, His Mother j so much, and rejoices in doing all 
that thou desirest, that He may honour thee more, and 
at the same time show thee the great love He bears 
thee. Let us make an agreement, Lady, ^hat while 
I live confiding in thee, thou on thy part wilt obarg^ 
tliyflelf with my salvation Amen 

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The great Sacrifice which Mary made on GU$ dojf to 
Qod in offering Him the Life qfher Son. 

IiiT the old law there were two precepts concerning the 
birth of the first-bom sons : one was, that the mother 
should remain as unclean, retired in her house for forty 
days ; after which she was to go to purify herself in the 
temple. The other was, that the parents of the first- 
bom son should take him to the temple, and there offer 
him to God. On this day the most Blessed Virgin 
obeyed both these precepts. Although Mary was not 
bound by the law of purification, since she \7as always 
a Virgin and always pure, yet her humility and obe- 
dience made her wish to go like other mothers to purify 
herself. She at the same time obeyed the second pre- 
cept, to present and ofior her Son to the Eternal Father. 
''And after the days of her purification, acoordiuff to 
the law of Moses, were accomplished, they carried Him 
to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord."^ But the 
Blessed Virgin did not ofior Him as other mothers 
offered their sons. Othem ofi^ered them to God 5 but 
they knew that this oblati »/i was simply a legal cere- 
mony, and that by redeemmg them they made them 
their own, without fear of having again to offer them 
to death. Mary really offered her son to death, and 
knew for certain that the sacrifice of the life of Jesua 
which she then made was one day to be actually con« 
summated on the altar of the cross \ so that Mary, by 

> Et pottqnam Impleti sont diet p«tT»tioni8 ejus seoandam lereoi Moy^ 
tolwront iUoB in Jeraaaltm, at itrtWifci •am Doatino.— XtM. ii. W. 

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offering the life of her Son, came^ in consequeaoe of tlie 
love Bhe bore this Son, really to sacrifice her own entire 
self to €k>d. Leaving, then, aside all other considera- 
tions into which we might enter on the many mysteries 
of this festival, we wiU only consider the greatness of 
tiie sacrifice which Mary made of herself to God in 
ofiking him on this day the life of her Son. And this 
will be the whole subject of the following discourse. 

The Eternal Father had abeady determined to save 
man, who was lost by sin, and to deliver him from 
eternal death. But because He willed at the same time 
that His divine justice should not be defrauded of a 
worthy and due satisfaction, He spared not the life of 
His Son already become man to redeem man, but willed 
that He should pay with the utmost rigour the penalty 
wbich men had deserved. " He that spared not even 
His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all.''^ He 
sent him, therefore, on earth to become man. He des- 
tined Him a mother, and willed that this mother should 
oe the blessed Virg in Mary. But as He willed not 
•hat His Divine Word should become her Son before 
she by an express consent had accepted Him, so also 
He willed not that Jesus should sacrifice His life for 
the salvation of men without the concurrent assent of 
Mary ; that, together with the sacrifice of the life of the 
Son, the Mother's heart might also be sacrificed. Saint 
Thomas teaches that the quality of a mother gives her a 
roecial right over her childern ; hence, Jesus being in 
Himself innocent and undeserving of punishment, it 
seemed fitting that He should not be condemned to the 
C'-om as a victim for the sins of the world without the 
&jn8ent of His Mother, by which she should sponta- 
neously offer Him to death. 

But although, from the moment she became the 
Mother of Jesus, Mary consented to his death, yet God 
willed that on thi's day she should make a solemn sa- 
crifice of herself, by offering her Son to Him in the 

* Qoi ettott proprio Pilio foo noo pqjieroit, ted pro nobif <»bii! out tiMiidit 
Ulum.— i2om. yiU 32. 

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Temple, sacrificing His precious life to Divine josticei 
Hence Saint Epiphanius calls her ' a jwiest.^ And noi* 
we be^n to see how mnch this samfice cost her, and 
what heroic virtue she had to practise when she herseU 
subscribed the sentence by which her beloved Jesus 
was condemned to death. Behold Mary is actually on 
her road to Jerusalem to offer her Son ; she hastens 
her steps towards the place of sacrifice, and she herself 
bears the beloved victim in her arms. She enters the 
Temple, approaches the altar, and there, beaming with 
modesty, devotion, and humility, presents her Son to 
the Most High. In the mean time the holy Simeon, 
. who had received a promise £rom God that he should 
not die without having first seen the expected Messiah, 
takes the Divine child from the hands of the Blessed 
Virgin, and, enlightened by the Holy Ghost, announces 
to her how much the sacrifice which she then made of 
her Son would cost her, and that with Him her own 
blessed soul would also be sacrificed. Here St. Thomas 
of Villanova contemplates the holy old man becoming 
troubled and silent at the thought of having to give 
utterance to a prophecy so fataS to this poor Momer. 
The saint then considers Mary, who asks him, 'Why, 
O Simeon, art thou thus troubled in the midst of such 
great consolations y 'O royal Virgin,' he replies, 'I 
would desire not to announce thee such bitter tidings ; 
but since God thus wills it for thy greater merit, listen 
to what I have to say.^ This child, which is now sact 
a source of joy to thee— and, God, with how much 
reason t — ^tms chQd, I say, will one day be a source of 
such bitter grief to thee that no creature in the world 
has ev^r experienced the like ; and this will be when 
thou fieest Him persecuted by men of every class, and 
made a butt upon earth for their sooffs and outrages ; 

* Viiffinem appello relnt sacerdotem.— fibm. in Laud, S. M, 
^ Unde tibi tanta tarbatio t . . . O Virgo regia . . . noUem tibi talla mm- 
Mare ; ted and! : Nimiam nuno pro isto in&nte iKtaris, et merito Uetarii . . • 
Eoce enim . . . poeitns est bio inmns in signam, oni oontradioettir a ma]ti« . . . 
O qaot millia hominnin pro isto paero laniabantor, Jagnlabuntiir I . . . Et rf 
•mnes patientar in oorpore, to Yinro ampliof in maSmo patieris.— In Fut$ 
ruri/la, B. M, r. Oono. L 

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they will even go so far as to put Him to death as a 
malefactor before thine own eyes. Thou so greatly 
rejoicest in thi» inffuit ; but, behold, He is placed for a 
sign which shall be contradicted. Know that after His 
death there will be many martyrs, who for the love of 
this Son of thine will be tormented and pat to deaths 
their martyrdom, however, will be endured in their 
bodies : but thine, Divine Mother, will be endured 
in thy heart. 0, how many thousands of men will be 
torn to pieces and put to death for the love of thig 
child ! and although they will all suffer much in their 
bodies, thou, Virgin, wilt suffer much more in thy heart' 
Tes, in her heart; for compassion alone for the 
sufferings of this most beloved Son was the sword of 
sorrow which was to pierce the heart of the Mother, af 
Sa?nt Simeon exactly foretold : " And thy own soul a 
sword shall pierce.''* Already the most blessed Virgin, 
as Saint Jerome says, was enlightened by the sacred 
Scriptures, and knew the sufferings that the Bedeemei 
was to endure in His life, and stul more at the time ol 
His death. She folly understood from the propheti 
that He was to be betrayed by one of His disciples* 
*' For even the man of my peace, in whom I trusted 
who ate my bread, hath greatly supplanted me,"^ a4 
David foretold: that He was to be abandoned by them : 
'' Strike the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scat- 
tered."^ She well knew the contempt, the spitting, the 
blows, the derisions He was to suffer firom the people : 
" I have given my body to the strikers, and my cheeks 
to them that plucked them : I have not turned away 
my face from them that rebuked me and that spit upon 
me."^ She knew that He was to become the reproach 
of men, and the outcast of the most degraded of tha 
people; so as to be saturated with insults and injuries s 

' Bt toam Ipdof antmam pertrandbit gladius.— Xtie. IL 35. 

' Qoiadabat paaea meoa, magnifloavit taper me f app lantatton— ■ »^ff> 

' Panmta paatorem, eft diipeifentcir arm.'^Zaeh. xHL 7. 

* Govpna meam dedi peroutientibQi, et genae meaa TeUentflipM i iMl» 
••Ml am vrertt ab iooiepaotiboa et oonipiieatlbiii in me«-njii. L §, 

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''But I am a worm, and no man : the reproacli of men, 
and tlie outcast of the people."^ " He shall be filled 
with reproaches.''^® She knew that at the end of His 
life His most sacred flesh would be torn and mangled 
by scourges : '' But He was wounded for our iniquities ? 
He was bruised for our sins."^^ And this to such a 
degree that His whole body was to be disfigured, and 
become like that of a leper — ^all wounds, and the bones 
appearing. " There is no beauty in Him nor come- 
liness . . . and we have thought Him, as it were, a 
leper.''^ " They have numbered all my bones/'^^ She 
knew that He was to be pierced by nails : " They have 
dug my hands and feet.''^* To be ranked with male- 
£Etctor8 : *' And was reputed with the wicked.'''* And 
that finally, hanging on a cross, He was to die for the 
salvation of men : '' And they shall look upon Me, 
whom ihej have pierced."'^ 

Mary, I say, already knew all these torments which 
her Son vas to endure ; but, in the words addressed 
to her by Simeon, " And thy own soul a sword shall 
pierce," all the minute circumstances of the sufferings, 
internal and external, which were to torment her Jesus 
in His Passion, were made known to her, as our Lord 
revealed to Saint Teresa." She consented to all with 
a constancy which filled even the angels with astonish- 
ment 5 she pronounced the sentence that her Son should 
die, and die by so ignominious and painful a death, 
saying, ' Eternal Father, since Thou wiliest that it 
should be so, " not my will, but Thine be done."^® I 
unite my will to Thy most holy will, and I sacrifice 

* Ego antem fum Tennis, et non homo ; opprobriam hominam, et ali^eotl* 
plebii.— P«. xxL 7. 

1* Dabit percatienti se mazillam, satnrabitor opprobriis. — Thren. Ui. 30. 

u IpM aatem yolneratos est propter iniquitates nostras, attritus est pw f 
tsr scelera nostra. — It. liii. 5. 

^ Non est species el, neqae dwxat . . . et nos pataTimos earn qaaai lepco* 
gam.— ifr. 2, 4. 

^ DinnmeraTemnt omnia ossa mea. — P*. zxi. 18. 

^ Foderant manns meas et pedes meos. — lb. 17. 

^ Et onm soeleratis repatatus est. — /«. liiL 12. 

>* Et aspioient ad me, quern confixerant — JSach, zfl. IQl 

» Vita, addit 

** Hon IBM Tolnntas, sod toa fiat— -Xue. xziL 4a 

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this m^ Son to Thee. I am eatisfied that He should 
, lose His life for Thy glory and the salvation of the 
world. At the same time I sacrifice my heart to Thee, 
that it may be transpierced with sorrow, and this as 
much as Thou pleasest : it suffices me, my God, that 
Thou art glorified and satisfied with my offering : " Not 
my will, but Thine be done,"' charity without 
measure ! constancy without parallel ! victory 
which deserves the eternal admiration of heaven and 
earth ! 

Hence it was that Mary was silent during the Pas- 
sion of Jesus, when He was unjustly accused. She 
said nothing to Pilate, who was somewhat inclined to 
set Him at liberty, knowing, as he did. His innocence ; 
she only appeared in public to assist at the great sacri- 
fice, which was to be accon^lished on C^vary j she 
accompanied her beloved Son to the place of execution ; 
she was with Him from the first moment, when He was 
nailed on the cross : "There stood by the cross of Jesus 
His Mother,''^^ until she saw Him expire, and the sacri- 
fice was consummated. And all this she did to com- 
plete the offering which she had made of Him to God in 
the Temple. 

To understand the violence which Mary had to offer 
herself in this sacrifice, it would be necessary to under- 
stand the love that this Mother bore to Jesus. Gene- 
rally speaking, the love of mothers is so tender towards 
their children, that, when these are at the point of 
death, and there is fear of losing them, it causes them 
to forget all their faults and defects, and even the in- 
juries they may have received from them, and makes 
them suffer an inexpressible grief. And yet the love 
of these mothers is a love divided amongst other chil- 
dren, or at least amongst other creatures. Mary had 
an only Son, and He was the most beautiful of all the 
sons of Adam — most amiable, for He had everything 
to make Him so : He was obedient, virtuous, innocent, 
holy ; suffice it to say. He was God. Again, this M(h 

^ 8t»fe«nt fuitom Jaxta oraoem Jmu Kfttor ^0% fta-Voon. id*. Sir 

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tber^s love was not divided amongst other objects ; she 
had concentrated all her love in this only Son ; nor did 
she fear to exceed in loving Him ; for this Son was God, 
who merits infinite love. This Son it was who was tho 
victim which she of her own free-will had to sac^oo 
to death. 

Let each one, then, consider how much it most have 
cost Mary, and what strength of mind she had to exer- 
cise in this act, by which she sacrificed the life of so 
amiable a Son to the cross. Behold, therefore, the 
most fortunate of Mothers, because the Mother of a 
God ; but who was at the same time, of all mothers, 
one most worthy of compassion, being the most afflicted, 
inasmuch as she saw her Son destined to the cross from 
the day on which He was given to her. What mother 
would accept of a child, knowing that she would after- 
wards miserably lose him by an ignominious death, and 
that moreover she herself would be present and see him 
thus die t Mary willingly accepts this Son on so hard 
a condition ; and not only does she accept Him, but 
she herself on this day offers Him, with her own hand, 
to death, sacrificing him to Divine justice. Saint Bona- 
venture says that the Blessed Virgin would have ac- 
cepted the pains and death of her Son far more will- 
ingly for herself ; but to obey God, she made the great 
offering of the Divine life of her beloved Jesus ; con- 
quering, but with an excess of grief, the tender love 
which she bore Him. 'Could it have been so, she 
would willingly have endured all the torments of her 
Son ; but it pleased God that His only-begotten Son 
should be offered for the salvation of the human race.'* 
Hence it is that, in this offering, Mary had to do her- 
self more violence, and was more generous, than if she 
had offered herself to sufier all that her Son was to 
endure. Therefore she surpassed all the Martyrs in 
generosity ; for the Martyrs offered their own lives, but 

** £t in hoc miro modo debet laudari et amari, qaod plaoait ei, quod 
Unigenitiui suns pro salute generis humani offerretar. £t tantam etiam 
compassa est, at si fieri potuisset, omnia tormenta qu» Filius pertalit, l|Mi 
»iato UUntias mutiimiiMt— i;du i. 8wU ditt. xlyiU. art. 9, ^ S, oonol. 

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the Blessed Virgin offered the* life of her Son, whom 
she loved and esteemed infinitely more than her own life. 

Nor did the sufferings of this painful offering end 
here ; nay, even, they only began ; for fix)m that time 
forward, during the whole life of her Son, Mary had 
constantly before her eyeg the death and all the tor- 
ments wMch He was to endure. Hence, the more this 
Son showed Himself beautiful, gracious, and amiable, 
the more did the anguish of her heart increase. Ah, 
most sorrowful Mother, hadst thou loved thy Son less, 
or had He been less amiable, or had He loved thee 
less, thy sufferings, in offering Him to death, wonld 
certainly have been diminished. But there never was, 
and never wiU be, a mother who loved her son- more 
than thou didst love thine j for there never was, and 
never will be, a son more amiable, or one who loved 
his mother more than thy Jesus loved thee. God, 
had we beheld the beauty, the majesty of the coun- 
tenance of that Divine CMld, could we have ever had 
courage to sacrifice His life for our salvation 1 And 
thou, Mary, who wast His Mother, and a Mother 
loving Him with so tender a love, thou couldst offer 
thy innocent Son, for the salvation of men, to a death 
more painful and cruel than ever was endured by the 
greatest malefactor on earth ! 

Ah^ how sad a scene from that day forward most 
love have continually placed before the eyes of Mary, 
-*a scene representing all the outrages and mockeries 
which her poor Son was to endure ! See, love already 
represents Him agonized with sorrow in the garden, 
mangled with scourges, crowned with thorns in the 
prflBtorium, and finally hanging on the 'gnominious cross 
on Calvary ! 'Behold, Mother,' says love, 'what 
an amiable and innocent Son thou offeiest to so many 
torments and to so horrible a death !' And to what 
piirpose save Him from the hands of Hercd, since it is 
only to reserve Him for a far more sorrowfal end t 

Thus Mary not only offered her Son to death in the 
Temple, bat she renewed that offering every moment of 

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her life 5 for she revealed to Saint Bridget ^ tliat tlie 
Borrow aniLOunced to her by the holy SimeoiL never 
left her heart until her assumption into heaven.'^^ Henoe 
Saint Anselm thus addresses her: 'O compassionate 
Lady^ I cannot believe that thou couldst have endured 
for a mon>ent so excruciating a torment without expir- 
ing under it, had not God Himself, the Spirit of Life, 
sustained thee.'^ But Saint Bernard affirms, speak- 
Jng of the great sorrow which Mary experienced on 
this day, that from that time forward ' she died living, 
enduring a sorrow more cruel than death.'^ In every 
moment she lived dying 5 for in every moment she 
was assailed by the sorrow of the death of her beloved 
Jesus, which was a torment more cruel than any death. 
Hence the Divine Mother, on account of the great 
merit she acquired by this great sacrifice which she 
made to God for the salvation ot the world, was justly 
called by Saint Augustine 'the repairer of the human 
race;'^ by Saint Epiphanius, Uhe redeemer of cap- 
tives j'^ by Saint Anselm, Hhe repairer of a lost 
world f^ by Saint G^rmanus, ' our liberator from our 
calamities f" by Saint Ambrose, Hhe Mother of all the> 
faithful;'^ by Saint Augustine, 'the Mother of the 
living f^ and by Saint Andrew of Crete, ' the Mother 
of life/^ For Arnold of Chartres says, 'The wills of 
Christ and of Mary were then united, so that both 
offered the same holocaust ; she thereby producing with 
Him the one effect, the salvation of the world/^^ At 

^ Dolor iite, mqaedmn Bssnmpta M corpora et anima in ooiliim, nim- 
qnain defttit a oorde meo. — Rev. lib. yI. cap. 57. 

** Pia Domina, non crediderim te potaisse ullo paoto stimnloi tanii Grvh 
tA&toB, qnin vitamamitteres snstinere, nisi ipse Spiritoi yitsB . . . te Molbr- 
taret. — De Exctl. V. cap. t. 

^ Quasi mortna Tiyens yiyebat moriens, moriebatqr yiyens ; nee moil 
poterat qu«B viyens mortua erat In illios anima dolor saeye i»yiebttt— 2K 

^ Reparatrix generis human!, t ** Redemtrix captiyonun.f 

•• Reparatrix jperdili orbis. — De Excd. V. cap. ix. 

^ Prmia primi lapsus primorum parentum reyocatio ; Ir psi f enerti fai 
rectum statum restitutio. — In Dei MaL Nai, 

^ Mater onmium credentium. t ^ Mater yiyen1inm.t 

^ Te enim ffrato animi affectu ao deyote lingua omnis yita 
f lorifloans pnedioat— in Dcrmit. 8. M. iii 

•1 Omnino tone eiat una Obriitl et Mari« yolontai, mmmqiM 1 

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the death of Jesus Mary united her will to that of her 
Son ; so much so, that both oflfered one and the same 
sacrifice ; and therefore the holy abbot says that both 
the Son and the Mother effected human redemption, 
and obtained salvation for men — Jesus by satisfying for 
our sins, Mary by obtaining the application of thia 
satisfaction to us. Hence Denis the Carthusian also 
asserts Hhat fhe Divine Mother can be called the sa- 
viour of the world, since by the pain she endured in 
commiserating her Son (wUlingly a^rificed by her to 
Divine justice) she merited that through her prayers 
the merits of the Passion of the Redeemer should be 
communicated to men.'^ 

Mary, then, having by the merit of her sorrows, and 
by sacrificing her Son, become the Mother of all the 
redeemed, it is right to believe that through her hands, 
Divine graces, and the means to obtain eternal life, 
which are the fruits of the merits of Jesus Christ, are 
given to men. To this it is that Saint Bernard alludes 
when he says, that 'when God was about to redeem the 
human race, He deposited the whole price in Mary's 
hands :^ by which words the Saint gives us to under- 
stand that the merits of the Redeemer are applied to 
our souls by the intercession of the Blessed Virgin ; for 
' all graces, which are the fruits of Jesus Ohrist, were 
comprised in that price of which she had charge. 

If the sacrifice of Abraham by which he offered his 
son Isaac to God was so pleasing to the Divine Ma- 
jesty, that as a reward He promised to multiply his 
descendants as the stars of heaven — "Because thou hast 
done this thing, and hast not spared thy only-begotten 
son for My sake, I will bless thee, and I will mStiply 

unbo puiter offarebant Deo : hmo in langnine oordis, hio fai Mmgroloe ea^ 
nil . . . oom Chiiito oommanran in lalute mondi effeotam pbtinait — J>« Iiuud, 

B, jr. F. 

*> Amantissima Dei Virgo Christifera did potest mmidi salTatrix prater 
emineiitiain, Tirtnositatem, et meriton; eiuB compassionis, qvm patienti FiU« 
ildeliMime ao aoerbiisime oondolendo, excellentur promeriiit, at per iptam, 
boo eft, per preoet ejus ao merita, yirtus ao meiitam pasiionii Obricti oom* 
■ranicetur bominibiu.— lb. lib. iL art S3. 

" Belemptnraa hnmanmn genm, iwettnm imiTeniim oontoUt la Ifaria^i 

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thy seed as the stars of lieaven,''^^»wo mast certiuniy 
beiieye tliat the more noble sacrifice which tlie great 
Mother of God made to Him of her Jesas, was far mor« 
agreeable to Wm, and therefore that He has granted 
that through her prayers the number of the elect should 
be multiplied, that is to say, increased by the number of 
her fortunate children ; for she considers and protects 
all her devout clients as such. 

Saint Simeon received a promise from God that he 
should not die until he had seen the Messiah bom : 
" And he had received an answer from the Holy, Ghost, 
that he should not see death before he had seen the 
Christ of the Lord.*'** But this grace he only received 
thsough Mary, for it was in her arms that he found 
ihe. Saviour. Hence, he who desires to find Jesus 
idll not find Him otherwise than by Mary. Let us, 
fiien, go to this Divine Mother if we wish to find Jesus, 
Mid let us go with great confidence. Mary told her 
•ervant Prudenziana Zagnoni that every year, on this 
lay of her purification, a great grace would be bestowed 
ipon some sinner. Who knows but one of us may be 
»he favoured sinner of this day t If our sins are great, 
the power of Mary is greater. ^ The Son can deny no- 
thing to such a Mother,' says Saint Bernard.^ If tfesus 
IS irritated against us, Mary immediately appeases Him. 
Plutarch relates that Antipater wrote a long letter to 
Alexand^ the Great, filled with accusations against 
his mother Olympia. Having read the letter, Alex- 
ander said, 'Antipater does not know that a single tear 
of my mother suffices to cancel six hundred letters (rf 
aecusation.'^ We also may imagine that Jesus thus 
Answers the accusations presented against us by the 
devil| when Mary prays for ns : ' Does not I^dfer 

QoiaffMifli fWBO rem, et boh peperoitti Alio too nnigenito pnjptMr om, 
MlkMun tibi, ei naltiplicabo semen taoa «ioiit itellM ocriL^vm. zziL 


^ BifMpoiisiim Meeperat a Spirita Sanoto, non yiianun m morleB, nW 
prios Tideret Christuin Domini.— 2mc. iL 26. 

** Baiidiet lUi^ae Matrem FUioa. -Senm. de Aqumd. 

V ^oraro Antipatram •exoentaa epictolat nna deleri matria laonaii^ 

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Olr TttS PUBIFiCAtlOK OF l^ABY. i6b 

know that a prayer of My Mother in favor of a 
nnner suffices to make Me forget all accusations of 
(fences committed against Me f The following ex- 
ample is a proof of thi& 


This example is not recorded in any book; bat was 
told me by a priest^ a £iend of mine, as having hap- 
pened to himself! This priest was hearing confessions 
in a church (to compromise no one^ I do not mention 
the name of the place^ thongh the penitent gave him 
leave to publish the fact), when a young man stood be- 
fore him, who seemed to wish, but at the same time to 
fear, to go to confession. The father, after looking at 
him several times, at length called him, and asked him 
if he wished to confess. He replied that he did ; but 
as his confession was likely to be very long, he begged 
to be taken to a private room. The penitent there be- 
gan by sa3ring that he was a foreigner, and of noble 
birth, but who had led such a life that he did not be- 
lieve it possible that Grod would pardon him. Besides 
the other innumerable shameful crimes and murders he 
had committed, he said that, having enfirely despaired 
of salvation, he committed sins, no longer from inclina- 
tion, but expressly to outrage GM, out of the hatred 
he bore Him. He said, amongst other things, that he 
wore a crucifix, and that he beat it out of msrespect ; 
and that that very morning, only a short time before, 
he had oommunicated sacrilegiously ; and for what pur- 
pose t It was that he might ti*ample the sacred particle 
under his feet. And he had indeed already received it, 
And had only been prevented from executing his ho]> 
rible design by the people who would have seen him. 
He then consigned the sacred particle in a piece of 
paper to the confessor. Having done this, he said that, 
passing before the church, he had felt himself strongly 
impelled to enter it -, that, unable to resist, he had 
done so. After entering, he was seized with gieai x^ 

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.166 OP THB ptranricATioH ow mabt. 

morse of conscience, and at tlie dame time a soit of con- 
fiised and irresolate desire to confess bis sins; and 
hence the reason for which he stood before the con- 
fessional } but while standing there his confosion and 
diffidence were so great that he endeavoured to go 
awaj; but it seemed to him as if some one held bun 
there bj force. *In the mean time/ he said, 'Father, 
yon called me, and now I am here making my con- 
fession, and I know not how.' The father then asked 
him if he ever practised any devotion during the time^ 
meaning towards the Blessed Virgin; for such con- 
versions only come through the powerful hands of 
Mary. 'None, father. Devotions, indeed ! I looked 
en myself as damned.' 'But reflect again,' said the 
father. 'Father, I did nothing,' he repeated. But, 
putting his hand to his breast to uncover it, he remem* 
bered that he wore the scapular of Mary's dolours. ' Ah 
my son,' said the confessor, 'dost thou not see it is our 
"Blessed Lady who haa obtained thee so extraordinary 
a grace t And know,' he added, 'that to her this church 
is dedicatell.' On hearing this the young man was 
moved, and began to grieve, and at the same time to 
weep ; then, continuing the confession of his sins, his 
compunction increased to such a degree that with a 
loud sob he fell fainting at the fathers feet. When 
be had been restored to consciousness, he finished hid 
confession ; and the father with the greatest consolation 
absolved him, and sent him back to his own country 
entirely contrite, and resolved to change his life, giving 
the father full permission to preach and publish every* 
where the great mercy that Maiy had shown him. 


holy Mother of God, and my Mother Mary, thoa 
wast so deeply interested in my salvation as to oflFer to 
death the dearest object of thy heart, thy beloved Jesus ! 
Since, then, thou didst so much desire to see me savedi 
it is right that^ after God, I should place all my hopes 

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in tlie^. yes, most Blessed Virgin, I do indeed en^ 
tirely confide in thee. Ah, by the merit of the great 
sacrL&ce which thou didst offer this day to God, the 
sacrifice of the life of thy Son, entreat Him to have 
pity on my poor soul, for which this Immaculate Lamb 
did not refuse to die on the cross. 

I could desire, my Queen, to offer my poor heart 
to God on this day, in imitation of thee ; but I fear that, 
seeing it so sordid and loathsome. He may refuse it. 
But if thou offerest it to Him, He will not reject it. 
He is always pleased with and accepts the offerings 
presented to Him by your most pure hands. To thee, 
then, Mary, do I this day present myself, miserable 
as I am; to thee do I give myself without reserve. 
Do thou offer me as thy servant, together with Jesus, 
to the Eternal Father ; and beseech Him, by the merits 
of thy Son and for thy sake, to accept me and take me 
as His own. Ah, my sweetest Mother, for the love of 
thy sacrificed Son, help me always and at all times, 
and abandon me not. Never permit me to lose by my 
sins this most amiable Bedeemer, whom on this day 
thou didst offer with such bitter grief to the cruel death 
of the cross. Remind Him that I am thy servant, that 
in thee I have placed all my hope ; say, in fine, that 
thou wiliest my salvation, and He will certainly gm- 
doosly hear thee. 

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On ihis day the Church celehrateSj in honour of Marf^ 
twosdlemn festivals; the first is that qfherhaspp 
passage from this world; the second, that qf har 
gloriom Assumption into Heaven, 

Ik the present discourse we shall speak of her happy 
pMsage from this world ] and in the next of her glo- 
riooB Assumption. 

How precious was the death of Mary ! 

1. On account of the special graces that attended it. 

2. On account of the manner in which it took place. 

Death being the punishment of sin, it would seem 
that the Divine Mother — all holy, and exempt as she 
was from its slightest stain — should also have been 
exempt from death, and from encountering the mis- 
fortunes to which the children of Adam, infected by 
the poison of sin, are subject. But God was pleased 
that Maiy should in all things resemble Jesus ; and as 
the Son died, it was becoming that the Mother should 
also die ; because, moreover, He wished to give the just 
an example of the precious death prepared for them, 
He willed that even the most Blessed Virgin should 
die, but by a sweet and happy death. Let us, there- 
fore, now consider how precious was Mary's death: 
first, on account of the special favours by which it was 
accompanied; secondly, on account of the manner in 
which it took place. 

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01* THB AJSfiUHPTIOir 09 IffABT. 369 

First point — There are three things which render 
death bitter : attachment to the world, remorse for sinS; 
and the uncertainty of salvation. The death of Mary 
was entirely free from these causes of bitteniess^ and 
was accompanied by tluree special graces, which ren- 
dered it precious and joyful. She died as she had 
lived, enthely detached from the things of the world ; 
she died in the most perfect peace ; she died in the 
certainty of eternal glory. 

And in the first place, there can be no doubt that 
attachment to earthly things renders the death of the 
worldly bitter atid miserable, as the Holy Ghost says : 
'' death, how bitter is the remembrance of thee' to a 
man who hath peace in his possessions !''^ But because 
the Saints die detached from the.things of the world, 
their death is not bitter, but sweet, lovely, and pre- 
dous ; that is to say, as Saint Bernard remarks, worth 
purchasing at any price, however great. "Blessed are 
the dead who die in the Lord.''^ Who are they who, 
being already dead, die t They are those happy souls 
who pass into eternity already detached, and, so to say 
dead to all aflEection for terrestrial things; and who, 
like Saint Francis of Assisium, found in God alone all 
their happiness, and with him could say^ *My God and 
my all.'^ But what soul was ever more detached from 
earthly goods, and more united to God, than the beau- 
tiful soul of Mary t She was detached from her parents j 
for at the age of three years, when children are most 
attached to them, and stand in the greatest need of 
their assistance, Mary, with the greatest intrepidity, 
left them, and went to shut herself up in the temple 
to attend to God alone. She was detached from riches, 
contenting herself always to live poor, and supporting 
herself with the labour of her own hands. She was 
detached from honours, loving an humble and abject 

■ O mon, qnam amaxa eft memoria tna bominl paoem beboili te fn^ 
itantiii sail l-^BecL x». 1. 

* Beati mortal qai Domino morlantiir.— ^|we. xIt. Ul 

* Pons nieqa ot OQwift. 

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life, though the honours due to a queen were hers, as 
she was descended from the kings of Israel. The 
Blessed Virgin herself revealed to Saint Elizabeth of 
Hungary, that when her parents left her in the temple, 
she resolved in her heart to have no father, and to love 
no other good than God. 

Saint John saw Mary represented in that woman, 
clothed with the sun, who held the moon under her 
feet. "And a great sign appeared in heaven : a woman 
clothed with the sun, and the moon undw her feet.''^ 
Interpreters explain the moon to signify the goods ol 
this world, which, like her, are uncertain and change- 
able. Mary never had these goods in her heart, but 
always despised them and trampled them under her 
feet ; living in this world as a solitary turtle-dove in a 
desert, never allowing her affection to centre itself on 
any earthly thing ; so that of her it was said : " The 
voice of the turtle is heard in our land."' And else- 
where : " Who is she that goeth up by the desert V^ 
Whence the Abbot Rupert says, ' Thus didst thou go 
up by the desert j that is, having a solitary soiil.'^ Mary, 
then, having lived always and in all things detacfibd 
from the earth, and united to God alone, death was not 
bitter, but, on the contrary, very sweet and dear to her ; 
since it united her more closely to God in heaven, by 
an eternal bond. 

Secondly. Peace of mind renders the death of the 
just precious. Sins committed during life are the worms 
which so cruelly torment and gnaw the hearts of poOT 
dying sinners, who, about to appear before the Divine 
tribunal, see themselves at that moment surrounded by 
their sins, which terrify them, and cry out, according to 
Saint Bernard, ' We are thy works ; we vKil not abandon 
thee.'* Mary certainly could not be tormented at death 

* Et fiffiiiim magnum apparult in ooelo ; Molier amiota lole, et Iiua sab 
pediboB ej^s. — Apoe. zii. 1. 

* Vox torturifl audita est in terra nostra. — Cant, ii. ISL 

* Quae est ista quse ascendit per desertum, Sec — lb. iii. 6. 

' TaUs asoendisti per desertum, id est, animam habenf raids «oUt»rbMii 
— X^. liL in Cant. cap. iii. 

* Opin tw •qmui, non U deMrvmnB.— JfMlil. o, 8. 

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by any remorse of conscience, for she was always pure, 
and always free from the leaet shade of actual or ori- 
ginal sin; 80 much so, that of her it was said : " Thou 
art all fair, my love, and there is not a spot in thee."^ 
From the moment Aat she had the use of reason, that 
I8y from the first moment of her immaculate conception 
01 the womb of Saint Anne, she began to love God 
with all her strength, and continue to do so, always 
advancing more and more throughout her whole life in 
love and perfection. And all her thoughts, desires, and 
afifbciions were of and for God alone ; she never uttered 
a word, made a movement, cast a glance, or breathed, 
but for God and His glory j and never departed a 
step or detached herself for a single moment from the 
Divine love. Ah, how did all the lovely virtues she 
had practised during life surround her blessed bed in 
the happy hour of her death ! That faith so con- 
stant; that loving confidence in God; that unconquer- 
able patience in the midst of so many sufferings ; that 
humility in the midst of so many privileges; that 
modesty j that meekness ; that tender compassion for 
souls ; that insatiable zeal for the glory of God ; and, 
above all, that most perfect love towards him, with 
that entire uniformity to the Divine will : all, in a 
word surrounded her, and consoling her, said : ' We 
are thy works; we wUl not abandon thee.' Our Lady 
and Mother, we are all daughters of thy beautiful 
heart ; now that thou art leaving this miserable life, 
we will not leave thee, we also will go, and be thy 
eternal accompaniment and honour in Paradise, where, 
by our means thou wilt reign as Queen of all men arid 
of all angels. 

In the third place, the certainty of eternal salvation 
renders death sweet. Death is called a passage; for by 
death we pass from a short to an eternal life. And as 
the dread of those is indeed great who die in doubt of 
their salvatioHy and who approach the solemn moment 
with well-grounded fear of passing into eternal death 

* Tote pnlolum u, amioa meB, H mMnOa oon eft in to.— Ctenl It % 

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thnB, on the other hand, the jov of the Saints is indeed 
great at the close of life, hoping with some security to 
go and possess God in heaven. A nan of the order of 
Saint Teresa, when the doctor announced to her her 
approaching death, was so filled with joy thcMi she ex- 
claimed, ' O, how is it, sir, that you announce to me such 
welcome news, and demand no fee V Saint Lawrence 
Justinian, being at the point of death, and perceiving 
his servants weeping round him, said : 'Away, away 
with your tears ; this is no time to mourn /^® Go else- 
where to weep I if you would remain with me, rejoice, a9 
I rejoice, in seeing the gates of heaven open to me, that 
I may be united to my God. Thus also a Saint Peter 
of Alcantara, a Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, and so many 
other Saints, on hearing that death was at hand, burst 
forth into exclamations of joy and gladness. And yet 
they were not certain of being in possession of Divine 
grace, nor were they secure of their own sanctity, as 
Mary was. But what joy must the Divine Mother 
have felt in receiving the new9 of her approaching 
death I she who had the fullest certainty of the pos- 
sesion of Divine graces especially after the Angel 
Gabriel had assured her that she was full of it, and 
that she already possessed God. '' Hail, fiill of grace, 
the Lord is with thee . . . thou hast found grace./" 
And well did she herself know that her heart was 
continually burning with Divine love j so that, as Ber- 
nardino de Bustis says,^* ' Mary, by a singular privi- 
lege panted to no other Saint, loved, and was always 
actually loving God, in every moment of her life, with 
such ardour, that Saint Bernard declares, it required a 
continued miracle to preserve her life in the micjst of 
such flames. 

Of Maiy it had already been asked in Hie sacred 
Oanticles, '^ Who is she that goeth up by the desert, 

^ Abite hino omn yettrit laorvmii ; tempna UetitUe est, non laon manip. 
-^Bem, Juit. ViL o. 10. 

" Aye gratia plena : Dominni teoma . . . inyaoiiti miim gntlim amd 
Denm.— ZticL^aO. * ^ 

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as a pillar of smoke, of aromatical spices, of mynh^ 
and £rankiiicense, and all the powders of the per« 
fdmerf^^ Her entire mortification typified by the 
myrrh, her fervent prayers signified by the incense, 
and all her holy virtues, united to her perfect love 
for Gk>d, kindled in her a flame so great that her beau- 
tifdl soul, wholly devoted to and consamed by Divine 
love, arose continually to God as a pillar of smoke, 
breathing forth on every side a most sweet odour. 
' Such smoke, nay even such a pillar of smoke,' says the 
Abbot Rupert, 'hast thou, Blessed Maiy, breathed 
forth a sweet odour to the Most High.'^^ Eustachius 
expresses it in still stronger terms : 'A pillar of smoke, 
because burning interiorly as a holocaust with the 
flame of Divine love, she sent forth a most sweet 
odour/^ As the loving Virgin lived, so did she die. 
As Divine love gave her life, so did it cause her death ; 
for the Doctors and holy Fathers of the Church gene- 
rally say she died of no other infirmity than pure love j 
Saint Ildephonsus says that Mary either ought not to 
die, or only die of love. 

Second point — ^But now let ns see how her blessed 
deatli took place. After the ascension of Jesus Ohrist, 
Mary remained on earth to attend to the propagation 
of the faith. Hence the disciples of our Lord had re« 
course to her, and she solved their doubts, comforted 
them in theur persecutions, and encouraged them to 
labour for the Divine glory and the salvation of re- 
deemed souls. She wiUingly remained on earth, know- 
ing that such was the will of God, {pr the good of the 
Ohurch ; but she could not but feel the pam of being 
far from the presence and sight of her beloved Son, 
who had ascended to heaven. '^ Where your treasure 
is, tbere will your heart be also,"^^ said the Redeemer. 

1* Qm ettlfta qua Moendlt per dMertom, idoitt Tiigols ftimi ez astomm 
Ifbat mynte et thiurla, et uniTeni pnlTerit pigmentani t — Cant, iiL 6. 

>* Taui nunns, imo talis ftimi Tirgxila, to, O Mata Maria, ■oaTem odon 
fpiniti AltlMimo.~Lib. iiL in Cant. o. iiL 
" ' r||]a fluni, quia 

" Virgola fluni, quia oonennnata intna in holooaoftam Inoedio Ditial 
•Borla, ex ea flagxabat raayiMimiii odor.t 
M UM «BiBi theiaans ywiar «•!» iU et oor Teftrom tilk— luti zfl. 9L 

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374 or THS issmsmois or vabt. 

Where any one believes bis treasure and bis happiness 
to be, here he always holds the love and desires of his 
heart fixed. If M^^y, then, loved no other good thsui 
Jesos, He being in heaven, all her desires were in 
heaven. Tauleros says, that 'Heaven was the cell of 
the heavenly and most Blessed Virgin Mary; for 
being there with all her desires and - affections, she 
made it her continual abode. Her school was eternity j 
for she was always detached and free from temporal 
possessions. Her teacher was Divine trath ; for bar 
whole life was guided by this alone. Her book was 
the purity of her own conscience, in which she always 
found occasion to rejoice in the Lord. Her mirror was 
the Divinity ; for she never admitted any representa- 
tions into her soul but such as were transformed into 
and clothed with Grod, that so she might always con- 
form herself to His wilL Her ornament was devotion ; 
for she attended solely to her interior sanctification, 
and was always ready to fulfil the Divine commands. 
Her repose was union with God ; for He alone was her 
treasure and the resting-place of her heart.'" The most 
holy Virgin consoled her loving heart during this pain- 
ful separation by visiting, as it is related, the holy 
places of Palestine, where her Son hiad been during 
His life. She frequently visited — at one time the 
Btable at Bethlehem, where her Son was bom; at 
another, the workshop of Nazareth, where her Son had 
lived so many years poor and despised 5 now the 
Garden of Gethsemani, where her Son commenced 
His Passion ; then the Praetorium of Pilate, where H« 
was scourged, and the spot on which He was crowned 
with thorns ; but she visited most frequently the Mount 

^ Coelestis . . . bnjos ao Beatissimte Virginia Hari» oella ftiit coBlom : is 
quo earn nniversis desideriis sois tota inclnsa fait. Sohol^ iUius foit et«r- 
i^tas : enimvero a rebos temporalibos prorsns remota et libera erat Fieda- 
fctfos ejus PiTina Veritas fait : cunota namqae ipsios vita juzta banc aolam 
cuj^ebat Liber eius, oonsoientisB ipeioa fuit puritas, in qua niinquam mm 
aiyeBiebat onde deleotaret in Pomino. Speoalum iUius Bivioitas fuit : nul- 
ju namqae imagines, nisi in Deam transformatas et Deam indutas, in m 
zeo^t. Omatos ejus devotio illius fait : soli quippe interiori vacabat bom- 
ioi. Qtiiesejas anitas ipsios earn Deo ftiit : qnamqoidem oonye Ml^s }p9n 
•t tbesaoros solus Deus soRai— Atm. ds Nt^ AJLK 

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df Oal\ary, wbere her Son expired ; and the Holy Se- 
pulchre, in which she had finally left Him : thus did 
the most loving Mother soothe the pains of her cruel 
exile.* But this could not be enough to satisfy her 
heart, which was unable to find perfect repose in thij 
world. Hence she was continually sending up sighs to 
her Lord, exclaiming with David : "Who will give me 
wings Hke a dove, and I will fly and be at rest f "^ 
Who will give me wings like a dove, that I may fly 
to my God, and there tind my repose? "As the hart 
panteth after the fountains of water : so my soul pant- 
eth after Thee, my God."^^ As the wounded stag pants 
for the fountain, so does my soul, wounded by Thy 
love, O my God, desire and sigh after Thee. Yes, 
indeed, the sighs of this holy turtle-dove could not but 
deeply penetrate the heart of her God, who indeed so 
tenderly loved her. " The voice of the turtle is heard 
in our land/'^ Wherefore being nuAvilling to defer 
any longer the so-much-desired consolation of His be- 
loved, behold, He graciously hears her desire, and calls 
her to His kingdom. 

Cedrenus,*^ Nicephorus,^ and Metapharastes,^ relate 
that, some days before her death, our Lord sent her 
the Archangel Gabriel, the same who announced to 
her that she was that blessed woman chosen to be 
the Mother of God : * My Lady and Queen,' said the 
angel, 'Grod has already graciously heard thy holy 
desires, and has sent me to tell thee to prepare thyself 
to leave the earth ; for He wills thee in heaven. Come, 
then, to take possession of thy kingdom j for I and 
all its holy inhabitants await and desire thee.' On 
this happy annunciation, what else could our most 
humble and most holy Virgin do, but, with the moat 

u Quia dabit mihi pennas sicut oolamluB, et volabo, et requiescam.— i*«. 
Uv. 7. 

'* Qaemadmodam desiderat oenrof ad fontes aqoarum, ita dMidMit 
woia» mea ad te, Deus.— Pr. zll. 1. 

^ Vox turturig andita est in terra nostra. — CcnU. iL It. 

>i Gomp. Histor. n. 86. 

» Lib. it 31. 

» OnL d« Dorm. B. IC. T. 

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profound humility, reply in the same words in whicli 
she had answered Saint Grabriel when he announced 
to her that she was to become the Mother of God : 
"Behold the handmaid of the Lord." BehoW, she 
answered again, the slave of the Lord. He in Hii 
pure goodness chose me and made me His Mother; 
He now calls me to Paradise. I did not deserve that 
honour, neither do I deserve this. But since He if 
pleased to show in my person His infinite liberality, 
behold, I am ready to go where he pleases. " Behold 
the handmaid of the Lord." May the will of my God 
and Lord be ever accomplished in me ! 

After receiving this welcome intelligence she im- 
parted it to Saint John : we may well imagine with 
what grief and tender feelings he heard the news 5 he 
who for so many years had attended upon her as a son, 
and had enjoyed the heavenly conversation of this most 
holy Mother. She then once more visited the holy 
places of Jerusalem, tenderly taking leave of them, 
and especially of Mount Calvary, where her beloved 
Son had died. She then retired into her poor cottage, 
there to prepare for death. During this time the 
angels did not cease their visits to their beloved 
Queen, consoling themselves with the thought that 
they would soon see her crowned in heaven. Many 
authors assert^ that, before her death, the Apostles, 
and also many disciples who were scattered in different 
parts of the world, were miraculously assembled isk 
Mary's room, and that when she saw all these her 
dear children in her presence, she thus addressed 
them: *My beloved children, through love for you and 
to help you my Son left me on this earth. The noly 
Faith is now spread throughout the world, already 
the fruit of the divine seed is grown up ; hence my 
Lord, seeing that my assistance on earth is no longer 
necessary, and compassionating my grief in being sepa- 
rated from Him, has graciously listened to my desire 

^ S. Andr. Crei Or. de Dorm. Deip. ; S. J. DaniMO. d* Dorm. Ddlpt 
BntUm. HiM. liii. o. 4a 

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to quit tMs life and to go and see Him in beayen. 
Do you remain, then, to labour for His glory. If I 
Lmvo you, my heart remains with you ; the great love 
I bear you I shall carry with me and always preserve. 
I go to Paradise to pray for you.' Who can form an 
idea of the tears and lamentations of the holy disciples 
at this sad announcement, and at the thought that 
■oon they were to be separated from their Mother? 
all then, weeping, exclaimed, ' Then, Mary, thou 
art already about to leave us. It is true that this 
world is not a place worthy of or fit for thee ; and 
as for us, we are unworthy to enjoy the society of a 
Mother of God ; but, remember, thou art our Mother ; 
hitherto thou hast enlightened us in our doubts ; thou 
hast consoled us in our afflictions } thou hast been our 
strength in persecutions ; and now, how canst thoa 
abandon us, leaving us alone in the midst of so many 
enemies and so many conflicts, deprived of thy con- 
solation t We have already lost on earth Jesus, our 
Master and Father, who has ascended into heaven ; 
until now we have found consolation in thee, our 
Mother; and now, how canst thou also leave us 
orphans without father or mother? Our own sweet 
Lady, either remain with us, or take us with thee.' 
Thus Saint John Damascen writes :^ 'No, my children' 
(thus sweetly the loving Queen began to speak), ' this is 
not according to the will of God 5 be satisfied to do 
that which He has decreed for me and for you. To 
you it yet remains to labour on earth for the glory of 
your Eedeemer, and to make up your eternal qrown. 
I do not leave you to abandon you, but to help you 
gtill more in heaven by my intercession with God. 
Be satisfied. I commend the holy church to you 5 I 
commend redeemed souls to you ; let this be my last 
farewell, and the only remembrance I leave you: exe- 
cute it if you love me, labour for the good of souls and for 
the glory of my Son ; for one day we shall meet again in 
Paradise, never more for all eternity to be separated*'' 


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378 Ot tHB ASStTMPTlOK Olf litABt. 

She then begged them to give burial to her body 
after death ; blessed them, and desired Saint John, as 
Saint John Damasoen relates, to give after her death 
two of her gowns to two virgins who had served her 
for some time.^ She then decently composed herself 
on her pooi little bed, where she laid herself to await 
death, and with it the meeting with the Divine Spouse, 
who shortly was to come and take her with Him to the 
kingdom of the blessed. Behold, she already feels in 
her heart a great joy, the forerunner of the coming of 
the Bridegroom, which inundates her with an unac- 
customed and novel sweetness. The holy Apostles, 
seeing that Mary was already on the point of leaving 
this world, renewing their tears, all threw themselves 
on their knees around her bed ; some kissed her holy 
feet, some sought a special blessing from her, some 
recommended a particular want, and all wept bitterly ; 
for their hearts were pierced with grief at being obliged 
to separate theniselves for the rest of their lives from 
their beloved Lady. And she, the most loving Mother, 
compassionated all, and consoled each one; to some 
promising her patronage, blessing others with particular 
affection, and encouraging others to the work of the 
conversion of the world ; especially, she called Saint 
Peter to her, and as head of the church and Vicar of 
her son, recommended to him in a particular manner 
the propagation of the Faith, promising him at the 
same time her especial protection in heaven. But 
more particularly did she call Saint John to her, who 
more than any other was grieved at this moment when 
he had to part with his holy Mother ; and the most 
gracious Lady, remembering the affection and attention 
with which this holy disciple had served her during all 
the years she had remained on earth since the death 
of her son, said : ' My own John' (speaking with the 
greatest tenderness) — ' my own John, I thank thee for 
all the assistance thou hast afforded me ; my son, be 

>■ moeph et Mataphr.^ %aotod by Father Joa^h and Mary in hli Uh §1 
Uny, ]Ib.t o.iat 

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QV THX ABStrHt^nOK Of MAXl. 379 

MHiiired of it, I shall not be nngratefol. H I now 
leave thee, I go to pray for thee. Bemain in peace 
in this life nntil we meet again in heaven, where I 
await thee. Never forget me. In all thy wants call 
me to thy aid ; for I will never forget thee, my be- 
loved son. Son, I bless thee. I leave thee my blessing. 
Remain in peace. Farewell !' 

Bnt already the death of Mary is at hand ; divine 
love, with its vehement and blessed flames, had already 
almost entirely consumed the vital spirits; the heavenly 
phoenix is already losing her life in the midst of this 
fire. Then the host of angels come in choirs to meet 
her, as if to be ready for the great triumph with which 
they were to accompany her to Paradise. Mary was 
indeed consoled at the sight of these holy spirit8| but 
was not fiilly consoled ; for she did not yet see her 
beloved Jesus, who was the whole love of her heart. 
Hence she often repeated to the angels who descended 
to salute her : ^ I adjure you, O daughters of Jeru- 
salem, if you find my Beloved, that you tell him that 
I languish with love."^ Holy angels, O fair citizens 
of the heavenly Jerusalem, you come in choirs kindly 
to console me ; and you all console me with your sweet 
presence. I thank you 5 but you do not fully satisfy 
me, for as yet I do not see my Son coming to console 
me ; go, if you love me, return to Paradise, and on my 
part tell my Beloved that " I languish with love." TeU 
Him to come, and to come quickly, for I am dying 
with the vehemence of my desire to see Him. 

But, behold, Jesus is now come to take His Mother 
to the kingdom (d the blessed. It was revealed to 
Saint ElizabetL that her Son appeared to Mary before 
she expired with His cross in His hands, to show the 
special glory He had obtained by the redemption ; hav- 
ing, by His death, made acquisition of that great crea- 
ture, who for all eternity was to honour Him more than 
all men and angels. Saint John Damascen relatei 

* AtfloTO TOt, JQte Jeroialem, ■! inyeoeritis dileotam ineam, nt Bontietft < 

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ttO OF THB Asstnanov ot HiAxr. 

ihat OUT Lord Blmself ^ve her ihe viaticamy ^^^ 
with tender love, 'Beceivei My Mother^ fix)m My 
hands that same body which thon gavest to me.' And 
the Mother, having received with the greatest love thai 
last commnnion, with her last breath sfdd, *My Son, 
into Thy hands do I commend my spirit. I commend 
to Thee this sonl, which from the beginning thou didsl 
create rich in so many graces, and by a singular privilege 
didst preserve from the stain of original sin. I com- 
mend to Thee my body, from which thou didst deign 
to take Thy flesh and blood. I also commend to Thee 
these my beloved children (speaking of the holy dis« 
cnples, who surrounded her) ; they are grieved at my 
departure. Do Thou, who lovest Hiem more than I do^ 
console them ; bless them, and give them strength ta 
do great things for Thy glory .'^ 

The life of Mary being now at its close, the mosi 
delicious music, as Saint Jerome relates, was heard in 
the apartment where she lay j and, according to a reve- 
lation of Saint Bridget, the room was also Sled with s 
brilliant light. This sweet music, and the unaccus- 
tomed splendour, warned the holy Apostles that Mary 
was then departing. This caused them again to burst 
forth in tears and prayers 5 and raising their hands, with 
one voice they exclaimed, '0, Mother, thou already 
goest to heaven ^ thou leavest us ; give us thy last bless- 
mg, and never forget us miserable creatures.' Mary, 
turning her eyes around upon all, as if to bid them a 
last farewell, said, * Adieu, my children ; I bless you j 
fear not, I will never forget you.' And now death 
came ; not indeed clothed in mourning and grie^ as it 
does to others, but adorned with light and gladness. 
But what do we say t Why speak of death t Let us 
rather say that Divine love came, and cut the thread of 
that noble life. And as a light, before goms out, gives 
a last and brighter flash than ever, so did this beautifdl 
creature, on hearing her Son's invitation to follow Him, 
wrapped in the flames of love, and in the midst of het 
» 8. J. DwBMe. QraL de Dom. B. IC V. 

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amorous BigbSy give a last sigh of still more ardeui love, 
and breathing forth her soul, expired. Thus was that 
great soul, that beautiful dove of the Lord, loosened 
from the bands of this life ; thus did she enter into the 
glory of the blessed, where she is now seated, and will 
be seated, Queen of Paradise, for all eternity. 

Mary, then, has left this world j she is now in 
heaven. Thence does this compassionate Mother look 
down upon ns who are still in this valley of tears. 
She pities us, and, if we wish it, promises to help ns. 
Let us always beseech her, by the merits of her blessed 
death, to obtain us a happy death ; and shonld such be 
the good pleasure of God, let us beg her to obtain ns 
the grace to die on a Saturday, which is a day dedicated 
in her honour, or on a day of a novena, or within the 
octave of one of her feasts ; for this she has obtained 
for so many of her clients, and especially for Saint Sta- 
nislaus Kostka, for whom she obtained that he should 
4ie on the feast of her Assumption, as Father Bartoli 
relates in his life.'* 


During his lifetime this holy youth, who was wholly 
dedicatea to the love of Mary, happened, on the first of 
August, to hear a sermon preached by Father Peter 
Oanisius, in which, exhorting the novices of the society, 
ne urged them all, with the greatest fervour, to live each 
day as if it wsa the last of their lives, and the one on 
which they were to be presented before God's tribunal. 
After the sermon Saint Stanislaus told his companions 
that that advice had been for him, in an especial man- 
ner, the voice of God ; for that he was to die in the 
course of that very month. It is evident, from what 
followed, that he said this either because God had ex- 
pressly riBvealed it to him, or at least because He gave 
him a certain internal presentiment of it. Four days 
afterwards the blessed /outh went with Father Emanuel 

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to Saint Mary Major's. The conversation feL on tae 
approaching feast of the Assumption^ and the Saint 
said, 'Father, I believe that on that day a new Paradise 
is seen in Paradise, as the glory of the Mother of Grod, 
Drowned Queen of heaven, and seated so near to onr 
Lord, above all the choirs of angels, is seen. And if-* 
as I firmly believe it to be— this festival is renewed 
every year, I hope to see the next.' The glorious mar- 
tyr St. Lawrence had fallen by lot to Saint Stanislaus 
as his patron for that month, it being customary in the 
society thus to draw them. It is said that he wrote a 
letter to his Mother Mary, in which he begged her to 
obtain him the favour to be present at her next festival 
in heaven. On the feast of Saint Lawrence he received 
the holy Communion, and afterwards entreated the Saiirt 
to present his letter to the Divine Mother, and to sup- 
port his petition with his intercession, that the most 
Blessed Virgin might graciously accept and grant it. 
Towards the close of that very day he was seized with 
fever ; and though the attack was slight, he considered 
that certainly he had obtained the favour asked for. 
This indeed he joyfully expressed, and with a smiling 
countenance, on going to bed, said, ' From this bed 1 
shall never rise again.' And speaking to Father Clau- 
dius Aquaviva, he added, 'Father, I believe that Saint 
Lawrence has already obtained me the favour from Maiy 
to be in heaven on the feast of her Assumption.' No 
one, however, took much notice of his words. On the 
vigil of the feast his illness still seemed of little conse- 
quence, but the Saint assured a brother that he should 
die that night. '0 brother,' the other answered, 'it 
would be a greater miracle to die of so slight an illness 
than to be cured.' Nevertheless in the afternoon he 
fell into a deathlike swoon ; a cold sweat came ovei 
him, and he lost all his strength. The Superior has- 
tended to him, and Stanislaus entreated him to hav# 
him Ifdd on the bare floor, that he might die as a peni- 
tent. To satisfy him, this was granted : he was laid 
on a thin mattress on the ground. He then made his 

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09 TAB ASST7MPT10K Of MART. 383 

confession, and in the midst of tbe tears of all present 
received tlie Viaticum : I say, of the tears of all present, 
fpr when the Divine Sacrament was brought into the 
room his eyes brightened up with celestial joy, and his 
whole countenance was inflamed with holy love, so 
that he seemed like a seraph. He also received ex- 
treme unction, and in the meanwhile did nothing but 
constantly raise his eyes to heaven and lovingly press 
to his heart an image of Mary. A father asked him 
to what purpose he kept a rosary in his hand, since he 
could not use it 1 He replied, * It is a consolation to 
me, for it is something belonging to my Mother.' ' O, 
how much greater will your consolation be,' added the 
Cather, ' when you shortly see her and kiss her hands 
In heaven !' On hearing this, the Saint, with his coun- 
tenance all on fire, raised his hands to express his 
desu'e soon to be in her presence. His dear Mother 
then appeared to him, as he himself told those who sur- 
rounded him J and shortly afterwards, at the dawn of 
day on the fifteenth of August, with his eyes fixed on 
heaven, he expired like a saint, without the slightest 
struggle ; so much so, that it was only on presenting 
him the image of the Blessed Virgin, and seeing that 
he made no movement towards it, that it was perceived 
that he was already gone to kiss the feet of his beloved 
Queen in Paradise. 


O most sweet Lady and our Mother, thou hast al- 
ready left the earth and reached thy kingdom, where, 
as Queen, thou art enthroned above all the choirs of 
angels, as the Church sings: "She is exalted above the 
choirs of angels in the celestial kingdom.'^ We well 
know that we sinners are not worthy to possess thee 
in this valley of darkness ; but we also know that thou, 

** Bzaltato tt faper ehoirof anMloniBi ad o«tlMtia rtgna.— iH tUU At- 
9mifit.JB,M,r. *- -• ^ 

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384 OB i:h« assumi»tion or mart. 

in thy greatness, hast nerer forgotten ns miserable 
creaturee, and that by being exalted to such great glory 
tbon hast never lost compassion for us poor children of 
Adam : nay. even that it is isiGreased in thee. From 
the hicrh throne, then, to which thou art exalted, tura. 
O Mary, thy compassionate eyes upon us, and pity us. 
Kemember, also, that in leaving this world thou didst 
promise not to forget us. Look at us and succour us. 
See in the midst of what tempests and dangers we con- 
stantly are, and shall be until the end of our lives. By 
the merits of thy happy death obtain us holy persever- 
ance m the Divine friendship, that we may finally quit 
this life in God's grace; and thus we also shall one 
day come to kiss thy feet in Paradise, and unite with 
the blessed spuits in jpraising thee auc^ tnngiug ihj 
iploiies %B thou deoervest Am^n 

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1st How glorious was the Tritmph of Mary when sM 
ascended to Heaven. 2d. How exalted was the 
Throne to which she was elevated in Heaven. 

It would se«m right that on this day of the Assump- 
tion of Mary to heaven the holy church should rather 
invite us to mourn than to rejoice, since our sweet 
Mother has quitted this world and left ns deprived of 
her sweet presence, as Saint Bernard says : ' It seems 
that we should rather weep than rejoice.'^ But no j 
the holy Church invites us to rejoice : ^ Let us all re- 
joice in the Lord, celebrating a festival in honour of 
the Blessed Virgin Mary.'^ And justly; for, if we 
love our Mother, we ought to congratula'te ourselves 
more upon her glory than on our own private consola- 
tion. What son does not rejoice, though on account of 
it he has to be separated &om his mother, if he knows 
that she is going to take possession of a kingdom f 
Mary, on this day, is crowned Queen of Heaven ; and 
•hall we not keep it a festival and rejoice if we truly 
love her f ^ Let us rejoice, then ; let us all rejoice/ 
And that we may rejoice, and be consoled the more by 
her exaltation, let us consider, first, how glorious was 
the triumph of Mary when she ascended to heaven j 
ftud secondly, how glorious was the throne to which 
•he was there exalted. 

1 Flangendom noUs quam plaodendom maffii ease videatnr.— in Anumm 
B. M. V. Senn. i. ~-o — ^ 

* QftodeaiuTUi omnei in Domino, diem festom celebrantes sub honor* Ik 
Mute Vtaviaif.— ^Iro. MUtm in Atiump. B. M. V. 

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First point — ^Affcer Jesus Olirist our Saviour bad 
completed, by His death, the work of redemption, the 
angels ardently desired to possess Him in their heavenly 
countiy ; hence they were continually supplicating Him 
in the words of David : " Arise, Lord, into thy rost- 
ing-place. Thou and the ark which Thou hast sancti** 
fied.''^ Come, Lord, come quickly, now that Thou 
bast redeemed men ; come to Thy kingdom and dwell 
with us, and bring with Thee the living ark of Thy 
sanctification, Thy Mother, who was the ark which 
Thou didst sanctify by dwelling in her womb. Pre- 
dsely thus does Saint Bemardine make the angels say : 
' Let Thy most holy Mother Mary, sanctified by Thy 
conception, also ascend.'^ Our Lord was, therefore, at 
length pleased to satisfy the desire of these heavenly 
citizens by calling Mary to Paradise. But if it was 
His will that the ark of the old dispensation should be 
brought with great pomp into the city of David — 
" And David and all the house of Israel brought the 
ark of the covenant of the Lord with joyful shouting, 
and with sound of trumpet"® — with how much greater 
and more glorious pomp did He ordain that His Mother 
should enter heaven ! The prophet Elias was carried 
to heaven, in a fiery chariot, which, according to inter- 
preters, was no other than a group of angels who bore 
idm off from the earth. ^ But to conduct thee to hea- 
ven, Mother of God,' says the Abbot Rupert, ' a 
fiery chariot was not enough; the whole court of 
heaven, headed by its Eling thy Son, went forth to meet 
and accompany thee.'* 

Saint Bemardine of Sienna is of the same opinion. 
He says, that 'Jesus,' to honor the triumph of His 
most sweet Mother, 'went forth in His glory to meet 

' Sorp, Domine, in requi«m toam, ta et aroa sanotifioationif 1 

^ Aao«ndat «tiam Maria, tua sanotiflsima Mater, tai oonoeptioDe ianotifioata.f 
' Et David et omnit domos Israel daoebant aroam teftamenti Domini, ia 

)oMlo et in olmgore bnooinn.— S Beg. tL 1& 
* Ad trantferendom te in cfltlom, non uniu tantam ooiriM igoeaa, Md 

totas oam ref« mo, FiKo tao, Ttnit alque OMontt eac mi lM angetanuk— 

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OF THB jLSflimPTlOK OJT ILijLT. o87 

and accompany her!,^ Saint Anselm also sajB^ 'that 
it was precisely for this purpose that the Redeemer 
was pleased to ascend to heaven before his Mother } 
that is, he did so not only to prepare a throne for her 
in that kingdom, but also that He might Himself ac^ 
company her with all the blessed spirits, and thus 
vender her ^itry into heaven more glorious, and such 
as became one who was His Mother.'^ Hence Saint 
Peter Damian, contemplating the splendour of this 
assumption of Mary into heaven, says, ^ that we shall 
find it more glorious than the ascension of Jesus 
Christ ; for to meet the Redeemer, aagels only went 
forth 'y but when the BWsed Virgin was assumed to 
glory, she was met and accompanied by the Lord Him- 
self of glory, and by the whole blessed company of 
saints and angels.'* For this reason the Abbot Guarric 
supposes the Divine Word thus speaking : ^ To honoiu: 
the Father, I descended £rom heaven ; to honour My 
Mother, I reascended there :'^^ that thus I might be en- 
abled to go forth to meet her, and myself accompany 
her to Paradise. 

Let OS now consider how our Saviour went forth 
£:om heaven to meet His Mother. On first meeting 
lier, tokd to console her, He said : ^' Arise, make haste, 
My love. My dove. My beautiful one, and come, for 
winter is now past and gone.''^^ Come, My owii dear 
Mother, My pore and beautiful dove ; leave thai valley 

' Svrrezit glorioflos Jesus in ooomsamsaaB doloisdnuB Matris.- Serm. in 
Jsffump. B. M. V. art ii. 

* Pradentiori et digroiori oonsilio osos prsMedere illam rolebas, qoatenai 
•i looam immortalitatis \n regno too praBparares, ao sic oomitatus tota oaria 
ton fefftlTios ei oooorreTes, eamqoe sublimius, sicut deoebat, tuam Matrem 
•d te ipsum 6xaltare8.->2>e Excel. V. cap. vii. 

* AttoIIe Jam ooulos ad assumptionem Virginls, et salra Filii majestate 
Inireaies ooeutsnm h^jus pompe non mediooritw dignioretn. Soli quipp« 
ADgeli Bedemptori oocurrere potuemnt, Matri rero ccelorum palatia pene- 
tranti Filios ipse, onm tota ouria, tarn angelorum, quam justorum, solemnrtei 
•oowtni, ertxitad beat» oooslstoriiun sessionis.— <9«rm. in Aztwtnp. B. M. V. 

" Ego ■mn qui patrem et matrem fl?iis honoraQdot oommendavi ; ego, nt 
ISM)erem quod docuif et exemplo essem t^Uis, nt Patrem honorar«iu, in terram 
descend! 1 nihilominns ut Matrem honorarem, in ocelum reascendi.- fifcrm. 
U. in JMump. B. M, T, 

^ Surge, propera, amioa mea, oolumba mea, formosa mea, et t«bL Jui 
mim liteBf tmmm%, inibsr alriit et y^mnt^Cfank M. 10^ U. 

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of tearS; in whioli, for My love, thou Iiast snfTered so 
much. " Come from libanus, My Spouse, come from 
Libanus, come : thou shalt be crowned."^ Oome in, 
soul and body, to enjoy the recompense of thy holy 
life. .If thy sufferings have been great on earth, far 
greater is the glory which I have prepared for thee in 
heaven. Enter, then, that kingdom, and take thy 
seat near Me; come to receive that crown which I 
will bestow upon thee as Queen of the universe. Be- 
hold, Mary already leaves the earth, at which she 
looks with affection and compassion j with affection^ 
remembering the many graces she had there received 
from her Lord; and with affection and compassion^ 
because in it she leaves so many poor children sur- 
rounded with miseries and dangers. But see, Jesus 
offers her Bis hand, and the Blessed Mother already 
ascends ; already she has passed beyond the clouds, 
beyond the spheres. Behold her already at the gates 
of heaven. When monarchs make their solemn entry 
into their kingdoms, they do not pabs through the 
gates of the capital, for they are removed to make way 
for them on this occasion. Hence, when Jesus Christ 
entered Par.' e, the angels cried out : " Lift up your 
gates, ye ^^i^ces, and be ye lifted up, eternal 
gates ; and the King of Glory shall enter in.'^ Thus 
also, now that Mary goes to take possession of the 
kingdom of heaven, the angels who accompany her 
cry out to those within : * Lift up your gates, ye 
princes, and be ye lifted up, eternal gates ; and the 
Queen of Glory shall enter in.' 

Behold, Mary already enters that blessed country. 
But on her entrance the celestial spirits, seeing her 
iSo beautiful and glorious, ask the angels without, as 
Origen supposes it, with united voices of exultation^ 
*' Who is this that cometh up from the desert, flowing 
with delights, leaning upon her Beloved f^* And 

^ Veni de Libano, sponsa mea, veni de Libaiio,Teiii,ooronaberi8.~ CkmL ir. fti 
» Attollite portas, prinoipes vettras, et eleyamini, porte Ktenialat; 0t in* 
iNlbtt rex gloria.— P<. xziti. 7. 
** Umi omaiiuB In <Milo •imt Istaaiiiun (toz) i " Qvm tft Mis qpt MMV 

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OY XHX AssuKPnoir or maby. 889 

who oflm this creature so beantifal be, that oomes from 
tlie desert of the earth — a place of thorns and tribula* 
tion t Bat this one comes pore and rich in virtae, lean- 
ing on her beloved Lord, who is graciously pleased 
Himself to accompany her with so great honour. Who 
is Ae t The angels accompanying her answer : ' She 
b the Mother of our King ^ she is our Queen, and the 
blessed one among women ; full of grace, the Saint of 
Mints, the beloved of God, the immaculate one, the 
dove, Ihe fedrest of all creatures.' Then all the blessed 
spirits begin to bless and praise her ; singing with far 
^ore reason than the Hebrews did to Judith : '' Thou 
art the glory of Jerusalem ; thou art the joy of Israel; 
thou art the honour of our people."^' Ah, our Lady 
and our Queen, thou, then, art the glory of Paradise, 
the joy of our country, thou art the honour of us all : 
be thou ever welcome, be thou ever blessed ! Behold 
thy kingdom } behold us also, who are thy servants, 
ever ready to obey thy commands. 

AU the Saints who were in Paradise then came to 
welcome her and salute her as their Queen. All the 
holy virgins came: "The daughters saw her, and 
declared her most blessed ; and they praised her."^* 
We,' they said, '0 most Blessed Lady, are also 
queens in this kingdom, but thou art our Queen ; for 
thou wast the first to give us the great example of con- 
secrating our virginity to God ; we all bless and thank 
thee for it.' Then came the holy confessors to salute 
her as their mbtress ; who, by her holy l^e, had taught 
them so many beautiful virtues. The holy martyrs 
also came to salute her as their Queen; for she, by her 

freat constancy in the sorrows of her Son's Passion, 
ad taught them, and also by her merits had obtained 
them strength, to lay down their lives for the fedth. 

dit dt deserto, delioUi afBoens, innixB wper dilectam Bavmf*-~OmU, tUL 

** Ta irloria JcroMleiB, to lattftki IiraeL ta honotUloeiitia popoli nottil.— 
/udiih XV. 10. 

>* Videnmt ewoi tOUm, et beatiisinuun pnMSioarerant . . . 0t UndsTWiui 

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Saint James, the only one of the apostles who 
vet in heaven, also oame to thank her in the name of 
all the other apostles for all the comfort and help she 
had afforded them while she was on earth. The pro- 
phets next came to salute her, and said : * Ah, Ladj. 
thou wast the one foreshadowed in our prophecies. 
The holy patriarchs then came, and said : ' Maiy, 
it is thou who wast our hope j for thee it was that we 
sighed with such ardour and for so long a time.' Bat 
amongst these latter came our first parents, Adam and 
Eve, to thank her with the greatest affection. * Ah, 
beloved daughter,' they said, * thou hast repaired the 
injury which we inflicted on the human race; thou 
hast obtained for the world that blessing which we 
lost by our crime ; by thee we are saved, and for it be 
ever blessed.' 

Saint Simeon then came to kiss her feet, and with 
joy reminded her of the day when he received the 
infant Jesus from her hands. Saint Zachary and Saint 
Elizabeth also came, and again thanked her for that 
lovipg visit which, with such great humility and 
charity, she had paid them in their dwelling, and 
by which they had received such treasures of grace. 
Saint John the Baptist came with still greater affection 
to thank her for having sanctified him by her voice. 
But how must her holy parents, Saint Joachim and 
Saint Anne, have spoken when they came to salute 
her t O God, with what tenderness must they have 
blessed her, saying : *Ah, beloved daughter, what a 
favour it was for us to have such a child I Be thou 
now our Queen j for thou art the Mother of our God, 
and as such we salute and adore thee.' But who can 
ever form an idea of the affection with which her dear 
spouse. Saint Joseph, came to salute her? Who can 
ever describe the joy which the holy patriarch felt at 
seeing his spouse so triumphantly enter heaven and 
made Queen of Paradise ? With what tenderness must 
he have addressed her : ' Ah, my Lady and spouse, how 
aan I ever thank our God as I ought, for having made 

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me thy spouse, thou who art His true Mother! Through 
thee I merited to assist on earth the childhood of the . 
Etenial Word, to caiTy JHim so often in my arms, and 
to receive so many special gi'aces. Ever blessed be 
those moments which I spent in life in serving Jesus 
and thee, my holy spouse. Behold our Jesus ! let us 
rejoice that now He no lo^iger lies on straw in a man- 
ger, as we saw Him at His birth in Bethlehem. He 
no longer lives poor and despised in a shop, as He 
once lived with us in Nazaieth ; He is no longer nail- 
ed to an infamous gibbet, as when He died in Jeru 
salem for the salvation of the world ; but He is seated 
at the right hand of His Father, as King and Lord of 
heaven and earth. And now, O my Queen, we shall 
never more be separated from His feet; we shall there 
bless Him and love Him for all eternity. 

All the angels then came to salute her ; and she, 
the great Queen, thanked all for the assistance they 
had given her on earth, and more especially she thank- 
ed the archangel Gabriel, who was the happy am 
bassador, the bearer of all her glories, when he came 
to announce to her that she was the chosen Mother 
of God. The humble and holy Virgin, then kneel- 
ing, adored the Divine Majesty, and all absorbed in 
the consciousness of her own nothingness, thanked 
Him for all the graces bestowed upon her by his pure 
goodness, and especially .for having made her the 
Mother of the Eternal Word. And then let him who 
can, comprehend with what love the Most Holy Trinity 
blessed her. Let him comprehend the welcome given 
to His daughter by the Eternal Father, to His Mother 
by the Son, to His spouse by the Holy Ghost. The 
Father crowned her by imparting his power to her ; 
the Son, His wisdom ; the Holy Ghost, His love. And 
the tliree divine Persons, placing her throne at the 
right of that of Jesus, declared her Sovereign of heav- 
en and earth; and commanded the angels and all 
creatures to acknowledge her as their Queen, and as 
auch to ^^'P v^ >bey her, I^t us now consider bow 

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exalted was the throne to ^hich Maty was raised \m 
heaven ! 

Second point'^' It the mind of man,' says Saint 
Bernard,*''* can never comprehend the immense glory 
prepared in heaven by God for those who on earth 
have loved Him, as the Apostle tells us,*® who can 
ever comprehend the glory He has prepared for Hia 
beloved Mother, who, more than all men, loved Him 
on earth; nay, even from the very first moment of her 
creation, loved Him more than all men and angels 
united f Rightly, then, does the Church sing, that 
Maiy having loved God more than all the angels, 'the 
Mother of God has been exalted above them all in the 
heavenly kingdom.'** Yes, ' she was exalted,' says the 
abbot Guarric, ' above the angels ; so that she sees none 
above her but her Son,'** who is the only-begotten of 
the Father. 

Hence it is that the learned Gerson asserts that, as 
all the orders of angels and saints are divided into three 
hierarchies (according to the Angelic Doctor** and St. 
Denis), so does Mary of herself constitute a hierarchy 
apart, the sublimest of all, and next to that of God.^ 
And as (adds St. Antoninus) the mistress is, without 
comparison, above her servants, so is ' Mary, who is the 
sovereign Lady of the angels, exalted incomparably 
above the angelic hierarchies.'^ To understand this, 
we need only know what David said: "The Queen 
stood on thy right hand."^ And in a sermon by an 
ancient author, among the works of St. Athanasios, 
these words are explained as meaning that ^Mary ia 
placed at the right hand of God.' 

^ Iq Annmpt. & JL 

"•1 Cor. a. 9. 

>* Ezaltata est sanota Dei genitriz super ohoros angelonun ad oosleatla 
reffpa. — In Festo. Astump. 

** Matrem dioo ezaltatam super ohoros angelomm, at nihil eontempletai 
sapra se Mater nisi Filium solum. — Serm. i. de Astump, 

» P. 1. q. 108. 

^ Viivo sola ooDstituit hierarchiam secundam sub Deo hierarohia piimo. 
^Stm. Magn, tr. 4. 

** Beata Maria est domina angelonun . . . ergo iinproporti<maUUtiK «fl 
...toper omnem hierarohiam ezaltata.— P. U. tit 15, o. 90, no. 15. 

9«Af(itilr«gina«deztris toif.— i>#. xliy. la 

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Olf the' ASStJMPnOlf OF KAKT. SdS 

It is cortain, as St. Ildeplionsus, says, that Mary's 
^ od works incomparably surpassed in merit those of 
all the saints, and therefore her reward must have sur- 
pabsed theirs in the same proportion; for, 'as that 
which she bore was incomprehensible, so is the re- 
ward which she merited and received incomprehensibly 
greater than that of all the saints.^ And, since it is 
certain that God rewards according to merit, as the 
Apostle writes, " who will render to every man accord- 
ing to his works,''^ it is also certain, as St. Thomas 
teaches, that the Blessed Virgin, 'who was equal to 
and even superior in merit to all men and angels, was 
exalted above all the celestial orders.'^ ' In fine,' adds 
Saint Bernard, 'let us measure the singular grace that 
she acquired on earth, and then we may measure the 
singular glory which she obtained in heaven ;' for 'ac- 
cording to the measure of her grace on earth is the 
measure of her glory in the kingdom of the blessed.'** 

A learned author^ remarks that the glory of Mary, 
which is a full, a complete glory, differs in that from 
the glory of other saints in heaven. It is true that in 
heaven all the blessed enjoy perfect peace and full con- 
tentment ; yet it will always be true that no one of 
them enjoys as great glory as he could have merited 
had he loved and served God with greater fidelity. 
Hence, though the saints in heaven desire nothing 
more than they possess, yet in fact there is something 
that they could desire. It is also true that the sins 
which they have committed, and the time which they 
have lost, do not bring suffering ; still it cannot be 
denied that a greater amount of good done in life, in- 
nocence preserved, and time well employed, give the 

^ Sicat inoomparabUe est quod gessit, et inef&bile donum quod peroepii 
et iosBstimabile atque inoompreheiuibile prsmium et gloria . . . inter onmei 
l&notoB, qtiam promerait. — Sem ii. de Assump. B. M. V. 

^ Qui reddet uoicuique secundum opera ejus. — Rom. ii. 6. 

^ Sionlt habuit meritum omnium et amplius, ita congnium fiilt, ut super 
mnnes ponatur hio sermo, " Qusb est ista qusa progeditur," &o.— iSL de A»m, m 

" Quantum enim gratiiB in texris adepts est, tar tarn • in oorilf cktinel 
|florI» singnIaris.--«SBrm. L in Assump. 

^ Oolombite«, Serm. L Assomp 


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greatest happiness. Mary desires notliing in heaven, 
and has nothing to desire. Who amongst the saints in 
heaven, except Mary, says Saint Augustine,^ if asked 
whether he has committed ,sins, could say no t It is 
certain, aa the holy Council of Trent^^ has defined, that 
Mary never committed any sin of the slightest impwr:> 
fection. Not only she never lost Divine grace, and 
never even obscured it, but she never kept it idle j she 
never performed an action which was not meritorious j 
the never pronounced a word, never had a thought, 
never drew a breath, that was not directed to the greater 
glory of God. In fine, she never cooled in her ardour 
or stopped a single moment in her onward course to- 
wards God ; she never lost anything by negligence, but 
always corresponded with grace with her whole strength, 
and loved God as much as she could love Him. * 
Lord,' she now says to Him in heaven, 'if I loved Thee 
not as much as Thou didst deserve, at least I loved 
Thee as much as I could.' 

In each of the saints there were difierent graces, as 
Saint Paul says, "there are diversities of graces.''® So 
that each of them, by corresponding with the grace ho 
had received, excelled in some particular virtue— the 
one in saving souls, the other in leading a penitential 
life; one in enduring torments, another in a life of 
prayer : and this is the reason for which the holy Church, 
in celebrating their festivals, says of each, ' there was 
not found one like him.'^ And as in their merits they 
differ, so do they differ in celestial glory: ''for star 
differeth from star."^ Apostles differ from martyrs, 
confessors from virgins, the innocent from penitents. 
The Blessed Virgin, being full of all graces, excelled 
each saint in every particular virtue : she was the Apostle 
of the apostles ; she was the Queen of martyrs, for she 
suffered more than all of them ; she was the standard 

"* De Nat et Gratia, contra P«lag. oap. zsxtL 

" Sms. tL can. 23. 

** Diyisionis yero gratiamxn fmit, idem antam qiizitiif.— 1 C%r. ziL 4. 

» Non eft inyentos similis illL 

<* ftteU* eniia a itella dUfoii in elaritate,—! Obt. XT. 4L 

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bearer of virginsy the model of married people } she 
united in herself perfect innocence and perfect mortifi- 
cation : in fine, she nnited in her heart all the most 
heroic virtnes that any saint ever practised. Hence of 
her it was said that " the Queen stood on Thy right 
hand in gilded clothing, surrounded with variety.''* 
For all the graces, privileges, and merits of the other 
Baints were ^1 united in Mary, as the Abbot of Gellefl 
gays : ^The prerogatives of all the saints, Virgin, thou 
hast united in thyself.'^ 

She possessed them in such a degree that, as ^ the 
splendour of the sun exceeds that of ^ the stars united/ 
60, says Saint Basil of Seleucia, 'does Mary's glory ex- 
ceed that of all the blessed.'^ Saint Peter Damian 
adds, that 'as the light of the moon and stars is so en- 
tirely eclipsed on the appearance of the sun, that it is 
as if it was not, so also does Mary'JB glory so far exceed 
the splendour of all men and angels, that, so to say, 
they do not appear in heaven.'^ Hence St. Bemardine 
of Sienna asserts, with Saint Bernard, that the blessed 
participate in part in the Divine glory; but that the 
Blessed Virgin has been, in a certain way, so greatly en- 
riched with it, that it would seem that no creature could 
be more closely united with God than Mary is : ' She 
has penetrated into the bottom of the deep, and seems 
immersed as deeply as it is possible for a creature in 
that inaccessible light.'^ Blessed Albert the Great con- 
firms this, saying that our Queen 'contemplates the maj- 

"* Astitit recdna a deztrii tois io TMtlto desnrato, einnimdate vaiietaltw 
-P«. xUv. 10. 

** Omnium sanotonun pririlegia omnia habei in te congeita.— Cbwit w pl 
A F. cap. a. 

" Tanto sopra martyres onmes splendore enitnit, qnantii lol ttollanini 
mioantes radioc folgoribus vinoit.— Oral, in B. V, et IncamaL D, N, J. (7. 

** Olaritas boUs . . . ita sibi sidenun^ et ImuB rapit poiitionem, at ■int 

J load non sint, et yederi non posslnt Similiter et yixgA JeMMBf Till pnv^ 
aminia, in ilia inacceesibili luce perluoens, sic utrommque spiritunm hebetal 
di«rnitatem« ut in oomparatione Viiginis aeo poesint, nee debeant apparera. 
'•^Senn. de Assump. B. M. F. 

"* In paradise diyinaa zlorisB particlpatio, csBteris quodammodo per partet 
datnr. Bed secundum fiemardum beata Vii^ Maiia diyinsB laplentia pro • 
ftrndlwrimam, ultra quam oredi yaleat, penetraTit abyaiom : at quantom afaM 

panonali onione creature conditio patitac, illi loci ' * -.--- — 

loi'MiM.- 2^ AMtt. A F. Leap, la 

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396 w TEK AssmcpTioir or habit. 

estj of God in incomparably closer promixity tlian all 
othOT oreatnreB.'^ The above-named Saint Bemardiue 
moreover says, 'that as the other planets are illumined 
by the son, so do all the blessed receive light and an 
increase of happiness from the sight of Mary.'*^ And 
in another place he also asserts, that ' when the slonam 
Virgin Mother of Grod ascended to heaven, she aug- 
mented the joy of all its inhabitants.'^ 

For the same reason Saint Peter Damian says, thai 
'the greatest glory of the blessed in heaven is, aftei 
seeing Grod, the presence of this most beantifdl Queen '*• 
And Saint Bonaventure, that, 'after God, our greotesi 
glory and our greatest joy is Mary.'^ 

Let us, then, rejoice with Mary that God has ex- 
alted her to so high a throne in heaven. Let us also 
rejoice on our own account ; £&r though our Motli^r Is 
no longer present with us on earth, having ascended in 

flory to heaven, yet in affection she is always with us. 
Fay, even being there nearer to GM, she better knows 
our miseries ; and her pity for us is greater, while she 
is better able to help us. 'Is it possible, Blessed 
Virgin,' says Saint Peter Damian, 'because thou art so 
greatly exalted, thou hast forgotten us in our miseries ? 
Ah no, God forbid that we should have such a thot^ht I 
So compassionate a heart cannot but pity our so great 
miseries.^ If Mary's compassion for the miserable,' 
says Saint Bonaventure, ' was great when she lived i^kmi 
earth, it is far greater now that she reigns in heaven.'^ 

^ "^^Islo rloiioMB Virginia Matris Dei, qiue super omnes oreatcmw impro* 
pogrttoial^ter . . . oontemplatur mf^estatem Dei. — Sup.Missui, q. Izu. 

^ Qaodammodo sioatosBtera lominaria irradiantor a sole, sio tota ooriestil 
0iBift a gloriosa Virgine letifioatiir et deooratur. — Loe. cit. art L cap. 3. 

^ Gloriosa Virffo dam ooelos asoendit, etiam sapemoram gaadiadviiui 
oopiosis angmenns camulayit — Serm. de Exalt. B. M. V, art i. oap. 3. 

^ Smnioa gloria est post Deam te videre.— iSerm. L de Ifat B. if. V. 

^ Pott Deam, m%)or nostra gloria et m^Jos nostnun gaadiom ex Marif 
•it— /Sjpee. B. V. leot. 6. 

^ Nam<igjid qoia ita deificata, ideo nostne hamanitatis oblita es t Neqna 
«nam domina . . . non conyenit tantSB mlserioordls tantam toitnaAaam 
•MiTiKt-^Serm. in Nat, B. M, V, 

^ Ifagoaeiga miserosftdt miserioordia Maris adhao eznlairtlf in mtiiMla^ 

Mdmnlto m^r erga mjierot est miseriooidia c^ns Jam regnsntii t 
ifffC* B, M, r • l es t z. 

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oir tBM A88mc»ioir ot itiitT. sn 

Let n& in tlie mean time, dedicate OTuselves to the 
•ervice of this Queen, to hononr and love her as mnoh 
BB we can ; for, as Richard of St. Lawrence remarks^ 
* she is not like other rulers, who oppress their vassals 
with bnrdens and taxes ; but she enriches her servants 
with graces, merits, and rewards.'^'' Let us also entreat 
her in the words of the Abbot Guarrio : * Mother of 
mercy, thou who sittest on so lofty a throne and in such 
close proximity to God, satiate thyself with the glory 
of thy Jesus, and send us, thy servants, the £:aCTient8 
that are left.'*^ Thou dost now enjoy the heavenly ban- 

Juet of thy Lord ; and we, who are still on earth, as 
ogs under the table, ask thy mercy. 


Father Silvano Bazzi^ relates that a devout eccle- 
riastio and tender lover of our Queen Mary, having 
heard her beauty greatly extolled, had a most ardent 
desire once to see his Lady ; and therefore, with hum* 
ble prayers, begged this favour. The clement Mother 
sent him word by an angel that she would gratify him, 
by allowing him to see her; but on tliis condition, that 
after seeing her he should remain blind. He accepted 
the condition. Behold, one day the Blessed Virgin 
appeared to him ; but that he might not remain quite 
blmd, he at first wished ^o look at her with one eye 
only; but afterwards, overcome by the great beauty of 
Mary, he wished to contemplate her wim both j whwe- 
npon the Mother of God disappeared. Grieved at hav- 
ing lost the presence of his Queen, he could not cease 
weeping, not indeed for his lost eye, but because he had 
not seen her with both. He then began to entreat her 
again that she would once more appear to hira, beinff 
quite willing, for this purpose, to lose the other eye and 
become blind. ' Happy and contented shall I be, O 

^ B/egbook Maria lai^tor serris sids dona gratianiin, tmIm TirtatniB, 
AefanKM meritomm, et magnitndiiiem pneiniorain. — De Laud, F. L yi o. U^ 
^ Serm. iy. in Aisamp. B. M. V. Vid. pace 192, note 35. 

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ids or THB ASSmiPTtOH oy mabit. 

my Lady/ lie siud, 'to l>ecome wholly llind for so go^iMl 
a cause, which will leave me more than ever enamoured 
of thee and of thy beauty.' Mary was graciously pleased 
once more to satisfy him, and again consoled him with 
her presence ; hut because this loving Queen can never 
injure any one, she not only did not deprive him of the 
sight of the other eye^ but even restored him the one 
he had lost. 


. O great, exalted, and most glorious Lady, prostrate 
at the foot of thy throne we adore thee £rom this valley 
of tears. We rejoice at thy inmiense glory, with which 
our Lord has enriched thee ; and now that thou art 
enthroned as Queen of heaven and earth, ah forget us 
not, thy poor servants. Disdain not, from the high 
throne on which thou reignest, to cast thine eyes of 
mercy on us miserable creatures. The nearer thou art 
to the source of graces, in the greater abundance canst 
thou procure those graces for us. In heaven thou seest 
more plainly our miseries ; hence thou must compas- 
sionate and succour us the more. Make us thy faithful 
servants on earth, that thus we may one day bless thee 
in heaven. On this day, on which thou wast made 
Queen of the universe, we also consecrate ourselves to 
thy service. In the midst of thy so great joy, console 
us also by accepting us as thy servants. Thou art, then, 
our mother. Ah, most sweet Mother, most amiable 
Mother, thine altars are surrounded by many people : 
some ask to be cured of a disorder, some to be relieved 
in their necessities, some of an abimdant harvest, and 
some for success in litigation. We ask thee for graoee 
more pleasing to thy heart : obtain for us that we may 
be humble, detached from the world, resigned to the 
Divine will j obtain us the holy fear of God, a good 
death, and Paradise. Lady, change us from sinners 
into saints; work this miracle, which will redound 
;nore to thy honour than if thou didst restore sight to 

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fei thousand blind persons^ or didst raise a thousand 
from the dead. Thou art so powerful with God, we 
need only say that thou art His Mother, His beloved 
one, His most dear one, filled with His grace. What 
can He ever deny thee t O naost beautiful Queen, we 
have no pretensions to see thee on earth, but we do 
desire to go to see thee in Paradise ; and it is thou who 
must obtain us this grace. For it we hope with ooii« 
fidence. Amen amen 

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Mary was the Queen qf Martyrs, for her martyrdom 
was longer and greater than that ofaUthe Martyrs. 

Who can ever have a heart so hard that it will not 
melt on hearing the most lamentable ev^nt which once 
occurred in the world ? There was a noble and holy 
Mother who had an only Son. This Son was the 
most amiable that can be imagined — ^innocent, virtuous, 
beautiful, who loved His mother most tenderly; so 
much so that He had never caused her the least dis- 
pleasure, but had ever shown her all respect, obedience, 
and affection : hence this Mother had placed all her 
affections on earth in this Son. Hear, then, what hap- 
pened. This Son, through envy, was falsely accused 
by His enemies; and though the judge knew, and 
himself confessed, that He was innocent, yet, that he 
might not offend His enemies, he condemned Him to 
the ignominious death that they demanded. This 
poor Mother had to suffer the grief of seeing that 
amiable and beloved Son unjustly snatched from her 
in the flower of His age by a barbarous death ; for, by 
dint of torments and drained of all His blood, He was 
made to die on an infamous gibbet in a public place of 
execution, and this before her own eyes. 

Devout souls, what say yout Is not this event, 
and is not this unhappy Mother worthy of compassion! 
Tou already understand of whom I speak. This Son, 
80 cruelly executed, was our loving Redeemer Jesus ; 
and this Mother was the Blessed Virgm Mary ; who, 
for the love she bore ns^ was williiig to see Him flftcri- 

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07 THX D0L0I7BS 01* UAXT. 401 

Hoed to Divine Justice by tlie barbarity of men. This 
great tonnent, then, which Mary endured for us— a 
torment which was more than a thousand deaths— 
deserves both our compassion and our gratitude. If 
we can make no other return for so much love, at 
least let us give a few moments this day to consider 
the greatness of the su&rings by which Mary became 
the Queen of martyrs ; for the sufferings of her great 
martyrdom exceeded those of all the mart3nrs ; being, 
in the first place, the longest in point of duration j and 
in the second place, the greatest in point of intensity. 
First point, — ^As Jesus is called the King of sor- 
rows and the King of martyrs, because He suffered 
during His life more than all other martyrs ; so also 
is Mary with reason called the Queen of martyrs, 
having merited this title by suffering the most cruel 
martyrdom possible after that of her Son. Hence, 
with reason, was she called by Richard of Saint 
Lawrence, Uhe Martyr of martyrs;'^ and of her can 
the words of Isaias with all truth be said, '* He will 
crown thee with a crown of tribulation f^ that is to 
say, that that suffering itself, which exceeded the suf- 
fering of all the other martyrs united, was the crown 
by which she was shown to be the Queen of martyrs. 
That Mary was a true martyr cannot be doubted, as 
Denis the Carthusian,^ Pelbart,* Catharinus, and others 
prove ; for it is an undoubted opinion that suffering 
sufficient to cause death is martyrdom, even though 
death does not ensue from it. Saint John the Evan- 
gelist is revered as a martyr, though he did not die in 
the caldron of boiling oil, but ' came out more vigorous 
than he went in.** Saint Thomas says, * that to have 
the glorv of martyrdom, it is sufficient to exercise obe- 
dience m its highest degree, that is to say, to be 
obedient unto death.** *Mary was a martyr,' says 

1 Martyf martjrram. — De Laud. B. M. 1. 3. 

* GoronaiM eoronabit te tribalatione. —Ti. xxil. 18. 

« De Laud. V. M. 1. 3. a. 24. * StelL B. V. L 3. p. 9, X 

* Vegc^tior exiverit, quam intraTerit. — Breo. Bom. y\. MaU. 

* Martyrium oompleotitur id quod summum in obedientia ease potest, ll 
foiUoet Aliqaif ^t obediena oaqiM ad mortem.^^}, 8 q. ozziT. wt fl^ ^d Ik 

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Saint Bernard, ' not by the sword of the executioner, 
but by bitter sorrow of heart.'^ If her body was not 
wounded by the hand of the executioner, hei blessed 
heart was transfixed by a sword of grief at the passion 
of her Son ; grief which was sufficient to have caused 
her death, not once, but a thousand times. From thii 
we shall see that Mary was not only a real martyr, but 
that her martyrdom surpassed all others; for it was 
longer than thiat of all others, and her whole life may 
be said to have been a prolonged death. 

*The passion of Jesus,' as Saint Bernard says, 'com- 
menced with His birth/^ So also did Mary, in all things 
like unto her Son, endure her martyrdom throughout 
her life. Amongst other significations of the name of 
Mary, as Blessed Albert the Great asserts, is that of 
• bitter sea.'* Hence to her is applicable the text of 
Jeremias : "great as the sea is thy destruction."^® For 
as the sea is all bitter and salt, so also was the life of 
Mary always full of bitterness at the sight of the pas- 
sion of the Redeemer, which ^was ever present to her 
mind. ' There can be no doubt, that, enlightened by 
the Holy Ghost in a far higher degree than all the 
prophets, she, far better than they, understood the pre- 
dictions recorded by them in the sacred Scriptures con- 
cerning the Messias.' This is precisely what the angel 
revealed to St. Bridget ;^^ and he also added, 'that the 
Blessed Virgin, even before she became His Mother, 
knowing how much the Incarnate Word was to suffer 
for the salvation of men, and compassionating this in 
nocent Saviour, who was to be so cruelly put to death 
for crimes not His own, eyen then began her greftt 

* Nod feno oarniflois, sed ac«rbo doTore cordis. -I^ Serm. l>om. in (kma, {1 

' A nativitatiB ezordio. passio orucis simul ezorta. — Serm ii. de Pati, t 

' Mare amamm. — De Laud. B. M. 1. 1. o. 3. 

'• Mag^ est enim velut mare contritio tua. — Thnn, il. 13. 

11 Proculdubio est credendum, qaod ex inspiratia.e Spiritas Sanoti ip« 
perfiBotias intellexit quicquid prophetamm eloquia fignrabant.— iSSsrm. Afig, 
oap. zriL 

^ Ex prophetarum scripturis Deum inoamari relle intelliffens,* et qvod 
lam diversis poenis in came assumpta deberet oruoiari, tribmationem pro- 
timis QOQ atooioam . . , io oorde sao sostinuit-^^Sffmi. Ang* v^. xfL 

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Her grief was immeasurably iilcreased when sbe be- 
came the Mother of this Saviom: ; so that at the sad 
sight of the many torments which were to be endured 
by her poor Son, she indeed suffered a lonff martyr- 
dom,^^ a martyrdom which lasted her whole hfe. This 
was signified with great exactitude to Saint Bridget in 
A vision which she had in Rome, in the Church of Saint 
Mary Major, where the Blessed Virgin with Saint Si- 
meon, and an angel bearing a very long sword, red- 
dened with blood, appeared to her, denoting thereby 
the long and bitter grief which transpierced the heart 
of Mary during her whole life.^* Whence the above- 
named Rupert supposes Mary thus speaking: * Re- 
deemed souls, and my beloved children, do not pity 
me only for the hour in which I beheld my dear Jesua 
expiring before my eyes ; for the sword of sorrow pre- 
dicted by Simeon pierced my soul during the whole of 
my life : when I was giving suck to my Son, when I 
was warming Him in my aims, I already foresaw the 
bitter death that awaited Him. Consider, then, what 
long and bitter sorrows I must have endured.'^^ 

Wherefore Mary might well say, in the words of 
David, " My life is wasted with giief, and my years 
in sighs."^' " My sorrow is continually before me."" 
* My whole life was spent in sorrow and in tears ; for 
my sorrow, which was compassion for my beloved Son, 
never departed from before my eyes, as I always fore- 
saw the sufferings and death which He was one day 
to endure.' The Divine Mother herself revealed to 
Baint Bridget, that 'even after the death and ascension 

** Tu qnoqae loiuram in oogitatfonibni tuis pn 
W pertafisti martynam.— Rapert. lib. iiL in Cm 
M Rev. lib. Tiu cap. 1. 

I tail prsBscia fdtaia paadcmii FUU 
*. in Cant. o. 4. 
. cap. 1. 
>* NoHte solam attendere horam vel diem illam, qaa vidi talem dileotani 
«b impiis oompreKQDSum male tractaii . . . mori et sepeliri. Nam tunc qui* 
lem gladios animam meam pertranaivit ; sed autequam sio pertransiret, 
Vmgum per me transitam fecit . . . Cam igitur came mea alitur progen* 
ttnm, talem Filiam sina meo foverem, ulnis gestarem, uberibai laotarem, 
•t talem ejiu fiituram mortem semper pre oculis haberem . . . qualem, 
qoantam, qaam prolixam me p'xtatis mAtemi doloris pertaliflse paMionemf 
^Lib. i. in Canl i. 
>* D^Mt in doloro yita mea, et anni me in gemitibns, — Pt. zzz. Xh 
^ Bt dolor meal in eonspeota meo semper.— i**. zzzriL IS. 

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of her son, whether she ate, or worked, {ho reaem- 
brance of His passion was ever deeply impressed on 
her mind, and ftesh in her tend^ heart.'^' Hence 
Tauler says, ' that the most Blessed Virgin spent her 
whole life in continual sorrow ;'^^ for her heart was 
always occupied with sadness and with suffering. 

Therefore time, which usually mitigates the sorrows 
of the afflicted, did not relieve Mary ^ nay, even it in* 
creased her sorrow } for, as Jesus, on the one handy 
advanced in age, and always appeared more and more 
beautiful and amiably ', so also, on the other hand, the 
time of His death always drew nearer, and grief al- 
ways increased in the heart of Mary, at the thought 
of having to lose Him on earth. So that in the words 
addressed by the angel to Saint Bridget : ' As the rose 
grows up amongst Uioms, soothe Mother of God ad- 
vanced in years in the midst of suffering ^ and as the 
thorns increase with the growth of the rose, so also 
did the thorns of her sorrows increase in M^ury, the 
chosen rose of the Lord, as she advanced in age ; and 
90 much the more deeply did they pierce her heart.''* 
Having now considered the length of this sorrow in 
point of duration, let us pass to the second point — ^its 
greatness in point of inten^ty. 

Second point — ^Ah, Mary was i*ot only Queen of 
martyrs because her martyrdom was longer tiian that 
of all others, but also because it was the greatest of aU 
martyf doms. Who, however, can measure its great- 
ness T Jeremias seems unable to find any one with 
whom he can compare this Mother of Sorrows, wh<^ 
he considers her great sufferings at the death of her 
Bon. ''To what shall I compare thee T or to what ^lall 

" Omni temp<»e qaod poet asoenMonem Filii in«i vixi . . . possio foa li 
oorde meo flxa erot, quod five oomedebam, live laborabam, quasi leoMf 
6iat in memoria mea. — Rev. lib. vL o. 61. 

1* Beatiasima Virgo pro tota vita feoit piofeflaionem dolotia,-^VU. Okr. ^ 


^ Siout rosa oresoere solet inter spinas, ita h»o renerabilis Virgo fai 1mm 
mundo oievit inter tribalationes. Et qaemadmodam quanto rosa in ora«> 
oendo se plus dilatat, tanio fortio et aactior spina efficitor ita, et haw elaotl** 
linaa rosa Maria qoanto pins »tato orosoebat, tanto tottkornm tribolatfoam 
ipinis aoat w pnnfebstor.— iSem^ Ang. o*^ sri 

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01* THl BOLOUBS 07 VAST. 405 

[ likeii thee, daughter of Jerasalem f ... for great 
%s the Bea is thy destruction : Y/ho shall heal thee T^ 
Wlierefore Oardinal Hago, in a commentary on these 
vrordsy says, 'O Blessed Virgin, as the sea in bitter« 
ness exceeds all other bitterness, so does thy grief ex- 
ceed all other grief.'^ Hence Saint Anselm assertii^ 
that ^ had not Qod by a special miracle preserved the 
life of Mary in each moment of her life, her grief waa 
tnchthat it would have caused her death.'^ Saint 
Bemardine ef Sienna goes so far as to say, ^ that the 
grief of Mary was so great that, were it divided amongst 
all men, itwould snfiice to cause their immediate death.''* 
But let us consider the reasons for which Mary's 
martyrdom was greater than that of all martyrs. In 
the first place, we must remember that the martyrs 
endured tneir torments, which were the effect of fire 
and other material agencies, in their bodies ; Mary suf- 
fered hers in her soul, as Saint Simeon foretold : ''And 
thy own soul a sword shall pierce/'^ As if the holy 
M man had said : ' O most sacred Virgin, the bodies 
of other martyrs will be torn with iron, but thou wilt 
be transfixed, and martyred in thy soul by the Passion 
of thine own Son.' Now, as the soul is more noble 
than the body, so much greater were Mary's suffering 
than those of all the martyrs, as Jesns Ohrist Himsdf 
said to Saint Catherine of Sienna : 'Between the suf- 
ferings of the soul and those of the body there is no 
comparison.' Whence the holy Abbot Arnold of 
Ohartres says, 'that whoever had been present on 
Mount Calvary, to witness the great sacrifice of the 

'1 Oni oompanbo te f ▼•! on! anhnllsbo t«, flUa J«raial«iii f ool vxmmaitm 
|0 . . . nia(rna ett enim T«Iiit mare eontritio tua : qoii medabitar tadl^Imiik 

a Qnemadmodam man est in amaritodlna earoalleni, ita tiui oontHtfoil 
aolla oalamHai aanari potest 

*> Utiqae, pla domina, non crediderim to potnisM olio paoto, •tiflralaa 
teati oraoiainfl, quia THam amitteree, fiistiQere, nisi ipse Spuitas yite, Spl< 
litos oonsolatkmb, Spbritos soUioet doloiasimi toi mi ... to oonfturtaret* 
Jh ExctL V. oap. t. 

** Virgrinis dolor erat major et plus qnam omnes oreatona mandi poaaeat 
portare, in tontom, qaod n ille dolor furet partitas et divisos inter oouMt 
•reatniaa mandi vitalea, oaderent mortase.— ^Sf^ia. in die Vmtri$ A pw M. 

"* St tuaai ipiliii aaiaHHB partnuuibit ffladios.— £iMi tt. aSi 

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40f 01* THE I)OLOnB& OV MART. 

Immaculate "Laxnby would there have beheld two greai 
altars, the one in the body of Jesus, the other in the 
heart of Mary ; for, on that mount, at the same time 
that the Son sacrificed His body by death, Mary sacri- 
ficed her soul by compassion.'^ 

Moreover, says Saint Antoninus,^ while other martyrs 
flofieredby sacrificing their own lives, the Blessed 
Virffin suffered by sacrificing her Son's Hfe — a life that 
she loved far more than her own ; so that she not 
only suffered in her soul all that her Son endured in 
His body, but moreover the sight of her Son's torments 
brought more grief to her heart than if she had endured 
them all in her own person. No one can doubt that 
Mary suffered in her heart all the outrages which she 
saw inflicted on her beloved Jesus. Any one can 
understand that the sufferings of children are also those 
of their mothers who witness them. Saint Augustine, 
considering the anguish endured by the mother of the 
Machabees in witnessing the tortures of her sons, says, 
'she, seeing their sufferings, suffered in each one 5 be- 
cause she loved them all, she endured in her soul what 
they endured in their flesh.'^ Thus also did Mary 
suffer all those torments, scourges, thorns, nails, and 
the cross, which tortured the innocent flesh of Jesus ; 
all entered at the same time into the heart of this Blessed 
Virgin, to complete her martyrdom. ' He suffered in 
the flesh, and she in the heaii;,'^ writes the Blessed 
Amadous. * So much so,' says Saint Lawrence Jus- 
tinian, Hhat the heart of Mary became, as it were, a 
mirror of the Passion of the Son, in which might be 
seen, faithfully reflected, the spitting, the blows and 
wounds, and all that Jesus st&Tered.'^ Samt Bona- 

**Niiniramiiitabenia<mloillodaoTidereflaltaria; aUndinpeotoreMariis, 
Aliod in ovTpore Christi: Christua oamem, Maria immolalMt animanu— 3V. 
4t Tii. Verb. D, in Cruet, 3. 


** Ola rldend in omnibus passa est ; amabat omnes, ferebat in oonlis qood 
In oarne omnes. -Serm. 300, ed. B, 

* nie oarne, ilia oorde passa est — Bom. t. 

** Clarissimom passionis Christi speoolam elfeotam erat cor Viii^inli, 
iMcnon et perfecta mortis imago. In illo agnosoebantur sputa, oonyitia, Tif ^ 
b«a) at Bedtnptocis Tolnera.— 2^ triwnahtM Chr, A^mt^ oap. zzi 

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rentore also remarks tliat Hhose wounds which were 
scattered over the body of our Lord were all united in 
the single heart of Mary.'^^ 

Thus was our Blessed Lady, through the compas- 
gion of her loving heart for her Son, scourged, crowned 
with thorns, insulted, and nailed to the cross. Whence 
the same Saint, considering Mary on Mount Calvary, 
present at the death of her Son, questions her in these 
words: '0 Lady, tell me where didst thou stand T 
Was it only at the foot of the cross T Ah, much more 
than this, thou wast on the cross itself, crucified witl 
thy Bon.'** Richard of Saint Lawrence, on the wordt 
of the Redeemer, spoken by Isaias the prophet, " 1 
have trodden the wine-press alone, and of the Gentiles 
*here is not a man with me,''^ says, 'It is true, O 
Lord, that in the work of human redemption Thou 
didst suflFer alone, and that there was not a man who 
sufficiently pitied Thee ; but there was a woman with 
Thee, and she was Tliine own Mother j she suffered in 
her heart all that thou didst endure in Thy body/^'* 

But all this is saying too little of Mary's sorrows, 
since, as I have already observed, she suffered more in 
witnessing the sufferings of her beloved Jesus than 
if she had herself endured all the outrages and death 
of her Son. Erasmus, speaking of parents in general, 
says, that ' they are more cruelly tormented by their 
cbuldren's sufferings than by their own.'^** This is not 
always true, but in Mary it evidently was so ; for it 
is certain that she loved her Son and His life beyond 
all comparison more than herself or a thousand lives 
of her own. Therefore, Blessed Amadeus rightly af- 
firms, thatHhe afflicted Mother, at the sorrowful sight 

SI Ejus TQlnera, per coipui ejus dispersa, sunt in oorde tuo unita. — Stim, 
Am. p. i. o. 3. 

s* Odomina mea, ubi stabasf Numquid tamtum jaxta oruoemt Imo 
«erte in cruce cum Filio ibi crucifixa eras seoum. — lb. 

«» Torcular calcavi solus, et de gentibus non eat vir meoum. — Im. Ixiii. 3. 

■* Verum est, Domine, quod non est vir tecum : sed muUer una tecum est 
qu» omnia vulnera quse tu suscepisti in oorpore suscepit in oorde. — JH Laud, 
F. 1. i 0. 5. 

** r*rentei atrocius torquentur in I'berii quam in laipsif.— £i&. tU Mm- 

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of the torments of her beloved Jesus, suflTered far mora 
than she would have done had she herself endured His 
whole Passion.'^ The reason is evident, for, ag Saint 
Bernard says, ' the soul is more where it loves than 
where it lives.'^ Our Lord Himself had already said 
the same thing : "where our treasure is, there also is 
our heart.''^ If Mary, then, by love, lived more in 
her Son than in herself, she must have endured far 
greater torments in the sufferings and death of her Son 
than she would have done, had the most cruel death 
in the world been inflicted upon her. 

Here we must reflect on another circumstance which 
rendered the martyrdom of Mary beyond all comparison 
greater than the torments of all the martjnrs : it is, that 
in the Passion of Jesus she suffered much, and she 
suffered, moreover, without the least alleviation. The 
martyrs suffered under the torments inflicted on them 
by tyrants j but the love of Jesus rendered their pains 
sweet and agreeable. A Saint Vincent was tortured on 
a rack, torn with pincers, "burnt with red-hot iron plates ; 
but, as Saint Augustine remarks, 'it seemed as if it was 
one who suffered, and another who spoke/^ The Saint 
addressed the tyrant with such energy and contempt 
for his torments, that it seemed as if one Vincent suf- 
fered and another spoke ; so greatly did God strengthen 
him with the sweetness of His love in the midst of all 
he endured. A Saint Boniface had his body torn with 
iron hooks ; sharp-pointed reeds were thrust between 
his nails and flesh ; melted lead was poured into his 
mouth ; and in the midst of all he could not tire say- 
ing, ' I give Thee thanks, Lord Jesus Christ.'*® A 
Saint Mark and a Saint Marcellinus were bound to a 
stake, their feet pierced with nails j and when the tyrant 
addressed them, saying, 'Wretches, see to what a state 

** Torqaebatnr (Karia) ma^s, quasi torqaeretor ex se, qaoniam tajn M 
iDOomparabiliter diligebat id niide dolebat — Horn. y. de Laud, V, 
" Anima nu^fis est abi amat, qnam ubi animat t 
"* Ubi enim thesaoros Tester est, ibi et oor vestnim eAL-^Lue xtf . 94 
* Tanqnam aUos torqueretur, loqaeretur. — Serm. 275, ed. B. 
"" ^ I tlM ago. DouiM Jmu Christe.— Q^ leok % 

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you are reduced; save yourselves from these toiments, 
they answered : ' Of wLat pains, of what torments dost 
thou speak T We never enjoyed so luxurious a banquet 
as in the present moment, in which we joyfully suffer 
for the love of Jesus Christ/*^ A Saint Lawrence suf- 
fered ; but when roasting on the giidiron, ' the interior 
flame of love/ says Saint Leo, ' was more powerful in 
consoling his soid than the flame without in toiluring 
his body.'*^ Hence love rendered him so courageoos 
that he mocked the tyrant, saying, ' If thou desirest to 
feed on my flesh, a part is sufficiently roasted ; turn it, 
and eat/*^ But how, in the midst of so many tor- 
ments, in that prolonged death, could the Saint thus 
rejoice ! 'Ah !' replies Saint Augustine, ^ inebriated 
with the wine of Divine love, he fwt neither torments 
nor death.'** 

So that the more the holy martyrs loved Jesus, the 
less did they feel their torments and death ; and the 
sight alone of the sufferings of a crucified God was suffi- 
cient to console thein. But was oiu: suffering Mother 
also consoled by love for her Son, and the sight of His 
torments t Ah, no ; for this very Son who suffered was 
the whole cause of them, and the love she bore Him 
was her only and most cruel executioner ; for Mary's 
whole martyrdom consisted in beholding and pitying 
her innocent and beloved Son, who suffered so much. 
Hence, the greater was her love for Him, the more bitter 
and inconsmable was her grief. " Great as the sea is 
thy destruction j who shall heal thee T "** Ah, Queen 
of Heaven, love hath mitigated the sufferings of other 
martyrs, and healed their wounds ; but who hath ever 
Boothed thy bitter grief T Who hath ever healed the 

^ Kimqiiain tarn juonnde epnlati ffomiiB, qnam onm li»o libenter J«mi 
Cbrlfti amore perferiiiiiiB.—/b. leot 3. 

^ Segnior Mt ignii qui forif uuit, qnam qui intoi aooendit— Ai F»S0 
B Laur. 

^ Assatum est jam, rena et manduoa.— Q2^ Ant ad, Magn, 

^ In Ula . . . longa morte, in illis tormentis, quia bene mandoeaTerat •! 
bene biberat, tamquam ilia esoa saginatog et illo oalioe ebrins, tormenta &<m 
•entit. — TracL zxvii. in Joan, Ev. 

^ Macna mi enim velnt mare oontritio to* : quit mtdeMtw t«i Y— flWvik 

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410 01* THE BOLOtfBS Ol* HART. 

too crael wounds of thy heart t "Who shall heal 
thee," since that very Son who could give thee conso- 
lation was, by His sufferings, the only cause of thine, 
and the love which thou didst bear Him was the whole 
ingredient of thy martyrdom. So that, as oth«r mar- 
tyrs, as Diez remarks, are all represented with the in 
etmments of their sufferings — a Saint Paul with a sword, 
a Saint Andrew with a cross, a Saint Lawrence with a 
gridiron — Mary is represented with her dead Son in her 
arms ; for Jesus Himself, and He alone, was the in- 
strument of her martyrdom, by reason of the love she 
bore Him. Richard of Saint Victor confirms in- a few 
words all that I have now said : ' In other martyrs, the 
greatness of their love soothed the pains of their mar- 
tyrdom J but in the Blessed Virgin, the greater was hei 
love, the greater were her sufferings, the more cruel waa 
her martyrdom.'^ 

It is certain that the more we love a thing, the 
greater is the pain we feel in losing it. We are more 
afflicted at the loss of a brother than at that of a beast 
of burden ; we are more grieved at the loss of a son than 
at that of a friend. Now, Cornelius k Lapide says, 
* that to understand the greatness of Mary's grief at the 
death of her Son, we must understand the greatness of 
the love she bore Him.'*"'^ But who can ever measure 
that love f Blessed Amadeus says, that ' in the heart 
of Mary were united two kinds of love for her Jesus — 
supernatural love, by which she loved Him as her Gi)d, 
and natural love, by which she loved Him as her Son.'^ 
So that these two loves became one'; but so immense a 
love, that William of Paris even says that the Blessed 
Virgin * loved Him as much as it was possible for a pure 
creature to love Him.'^^ Hence Richard of Saint Victor 

^ In martyinbas magnitado amoris dolorem lenivit passionis ; sed Beata 
Virgo, quanto plus amavit, tauto plus doloit, tanioque ipsius martyrinm gn- 
flus fuit. — In Cant. cap. xxvi. 

*' Ut scias quantus fiierit dolor B. Virginia, cogita qnantna Aieiit Amor.-* 
Jn Thren. i. 12. 

^ Du8B dileotiones in nnam convenerant, et ex dnobuf amoribns fiMtiif 
Mt ftmor unus, oom Virgo Mater Filio diyinitatis amcrem impendwet, «t is 
Deo amorem nato exhiberet — Ham. v. de Laud. V, 

* Q««c^ua «ip«r« potoit pari liomiiiii modoa. 

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affirms that ' as there was no love like hex love, so there 
was no sorrow like her sorrow.'^ And if the love of 
Mary towards her Son was immense, immense also mnst 
have been her grief in losing Him by death. ' Where 
there is the greatest love/ says Blessed Albert the 
Great, ' there also ie the greatest grief .'^ 

Let ns now imagine to ourselves the Divine Mother 
standing near her Son expiring on the cross, and justly 
applying to herself the words of Jeremias, thus address- 
ing us : "0 all ye that pass by the way attend, and see 
if there be any sorrow like to my sorrow."^ O you 
who spend your lives upon earth, and pity me not, 
stop awhile to look at me, now that I behold this 
beloved Son dying before my eyes; and then see i^ 
amongst all those who are a&icted and tormented, a 
s<>rrow is to be found like unto my sorrow. ' No, 
most suffering of all mothers,' replies Saint Bonaventure, 
' no more bitter grief than thine can be found } for no 
son more dear than thine can be found.'^ Ah, ' there 
never was a more amiable son in the world than Jesus,' 
says Eichard of Saint Lawrence ; ' nor has there ever 
been a mother who more tenderly loved her son than 
Mary ! But since there never has been in the world a 
love like unto Mary's love, how can any sorrow bo 
found like unto JM ary's sorrow f^ 

Therefore Saint Ildephonsus did not hesitate to as- 
sert, Ho say that Mary's sorrows were greater than all 
the torments of the martyrs united, was to say too 
little.'^ And Saint Anselm adds, that ' the most cruel 

^ Unde siont non ftiit amor ticat anKMr ejui, ita neo ftdt dolor dmflli 
dolori ejus. — Tn Cant. cap. xxvi. 

'* Ubi snmmoa amor, ibi summns dolor. — JSt^ter MUt. q. 78. 

** O vos omnes qai transitis per yiam, attendite, et yidete li eft dolor tk^ 
dolor meus. — Thren. i. 12. 

** Nollas dolor amarior. 
Nam nnlla proles carior.— ^ymn. de Compost. B. M. F. 

M Hon fait talis Filius, ion ftiit tails Mater; non ftiit tanta oharitas iloil 
Inter matrem et filiam, nci fait tarn indigna mors, non fait dolor tantus . . 
Ideo quanto dilezit tenerios, tanto Ttdnerata est profundios. — De LauA. T, 
L in. c. 12. 

** Param est Mariam in passicme Filii tarn aoerbos pertulisse dolores, nl 
Mnniam martynun oolleoti ye torment sapcrare\ — J^p. Sinitc. Mart, di Mor* 
Cons xzzfi " * 

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^tortures inflicted on tlie holy martyis were trifling, of 
as nothing in comparison with the martyrdom of Miuy.''* 
Saint Basil of Seleuda idso writes, ' that as the son 
exceeds all the other planets in splendour, so did Mary's 
sufferings exceed those of all the other martyrs.'^ A 
learned author** concludes with a beautiful sentiment. 
He says that so great was the sorrow of this tender 
Mother in the Passion of Jesus, that she alone com- 
fiasmonated in a degree by any means adequate to its 
merits the death of a Grod made man. 

But heie Saint Bonaventure, addressing this Blessed 
"Virgin, says, ' And why, O Lady, didst thou also go 
to sacrifice thyself on Calvary T Was not a crucified 
God sufficient to redeem us, that thou. His Mother, 
wouldst also go to be crucified with Him f '^ Indee^ 
the death of Jesus was more than enough to save the 
world, and an infinity of worlds; but this good Mother, 
for the love she bore us, wished also to help the cause 
of our salvation with the merits of her sufferings, which 
she offered for us on Calvary. Therefore, Blessed Al- 
bert the Great says, ^ that as we are under great obliga- 
tions to Jesus for His Passion endured for our love, so 
also are we under great obligations to Mary for the 
martyrdom which she voluntarily suffered for our sal- 
vation in the death of her Son.'^ I ^ay voluntaiily, 
wnce, as Saint Agnes revealed to Samt Bridget, ' our 
compassionate and benign Mother was satisfied rather 
to endure any torment than that our soul? should not 
be redeemed, and be leffc in their former state of per- 
dition.'®^ And, indeed, we may say that Mary's only 
relief in the midst of her great sorrow in the Passion 
of her Son, was to see the lost world redeemed by His 

* Qaidqidd enim onidelitatii inflictain est oorpcribos martyram Uiw ItaM 
snt potios nihil oomparatione tiuB paasionis.— J3v JBasoeZ. F. eap. t. 

" Orat in S. Dei Gen. see page 398, note 37. 

* Father Finamonti, Caere di M. cons. 6. 

" O domina, cor ivisti immolari pro nobis? namquid iKm sulBeiilMt Ffltt 
pasrio nobis, nisi cruoifigeretur et Mater t — JSHwi, Am. p. L eap. 3. 

^ Sioat totos munduB obligator Deo per soam pasrionem, lift •! dmnhMi 
•mninm per oompassionem. — ^^t^. Mi$t. q. oL Re^p. ad q. orlTiU. 

*> Sio pia et miserioois Aiit et est, nt maloit omnes tribalatioiMt 
fMoi ^tood aDinui non rtdiflMraatiir.— vBm. Hlib iiL «. 3Ql 

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OF TBI BOlOtTBfl OT MAfiT. 413 

deatb, and men who were His enemies reconciled with 
Grod. ' While grieving she rejoiced/ says Simon of 
Oassia, * that a sacrifice was offered for the redemption 
of all, by which He who was angry was appeased.'^ 

So great a love on the part of Mary deserves our 
ffratitude, and that gratitude should be shown by at 
least mediating upon and pitying her in her sorrows. 
But she complained to Saint Bnagei that very few did 
so, and that the greater part of the world lived ^in for- 
getfulness of them : ^ I look around at all who are on 
earth, to see if by chance there are any who pity me, 
and meditate upon my sorrows ; and I find that there 
are very few. Therefore, my daughter, though I am 
forgotten by many, at least do thou not forget me 5 con- 
sider my anguish, and imitate, as far as thou canst, my 
grief.'^ To understand how pleasing it is to the Blessed 
Virgin that we should remember her dolours, we need 
only know that, in the year 1239, she appeared to seven 
devout clients of hers (who were afterwards founderc 01 
the religious order of the Servant of Mary), with a 
black garment in her hand, and desired them, if they 
wished to please her, often to meditate on her sorrows : 
for this purpose, and to remind them of her sorrows, 
she expressed her desire that in future they should wear 
that mourning dress.** Jesus Christ Himself revealed 
to the Blessed Veronica da Binasco, that He is, as it 
were, more pleased in seeing His Mother compassionated 
than Himself^ for thus He addressed her : 'My daugh- 
ter, tears shed for My Passion are dear to Me ; but as 
I loved My Mother Mary with an immense love, the 
meditation of the torments which she endured at My 
death is even more agreeable to Me.'*' 

Wherefore the graces promised by Jesus to those 

** IjBtabatar dolent, qaod offerebator saorifloinm in redemptionen om* 
■tarn, qao plaoabator iratos.— ^ GesL 2>. L ii. 0. 37. 

** Refpioio ad omnea qui in mundo 9jnt, si forte rint aliqni qni oompa- 
llantnr mibi, et reooffit«nt dolorem meam, et ralde pauoot inTenio . . . Idao^ 
IHa mea, lioet a moJtis oblita et negleota sim, tu tamen noo obUrisoarif me,- 
Tide dolorem meom, et imitare qoantum («tes. — B§v» Ub. IL a Ml 

** Obun. Ann. Senr. cent !. L i. o. 14 

• Aph BoUud. xiM. /n. >lt 1. 1. «b 9. 

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who are devoted to the dolours of Mary are very great 
Pelbert^ relates that it was revealed to Saint Elizabeth^ 
that after the assumption of the Blessed Virgin into 
heaven, Saint John the Evangelist desired to see h«r 
again. The favour was granted him } his dear Mother 
appeared to him, and with her Jesus Christ also ap- 
peared *j the Saint then heard Mary ask her Son to gi*aat 
Bome speoial grace to all those who are devoted to her 
dolours.' Jesus promised her four principal ones : Ist, 
that those who before death invoke the Divine Mothci 
in the name of her sorrows should obtain true repent- 
ance of all their sins. 2d, that He would protect all 
who have this devotion in their tribulations, and that 
He would protect them especially at the hour of death. 
3d, that He would impress upon theur minds the re- 
membrance of His Passion, and that they should have 
their reward for it in heaven. 4th, that He would 
commit such devout clients to the hands of Mary, with 
the power to dispose of them in whatever manner she 
might please, and to obtain for them all the graces she 
might desire. In proof of this, let us see, in the fol- 
lowing example, how greatly devotion to the dolours of 
Mary aids in obtaining eternal salvation. 


In the revelations of Saint Bridget^ we read that 
there was a rich man, as noble by birth as he was vile 
and sinful in his habits. He had given himself, by an 
express compact, as a slave to the devil ; and for sixty 
successive years had served him, leading such a life 
as may be imagined, and never approached the saorar 
ments. Now thib prince was dying ; and Jesus Christy 
to show him mercy, commanded Saint Bridget to tell 
her confessor to go and visit him, and exhort him to 
confess his sins. The confessor went, and the sick maa 
Bald that he did not require confession, as he had often 

M stellar, lib. m. p. 3, a. & 
« B«T. lib. Tl. 0.97. 

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01* TBX BOLOUBS 09 ItABT. 415 

approached the sacrament of penance. The p tteet went 
a secsond time ; bnt this poor slave of hell persevered in 
his obstinate determination not to confess. Jesns again 
told the Saint to desire the confessor to retnm. He did 
80 ; and on the third occasion told the sick man the 
rdvelation made to the Saint, and that he had returned 
so many times because our Lord, who wished to show 
him mercy, had so ordered. On hearing this the dying 
man was touched, and began to weep : 'But how,' he 
exclaimed, 'can I be saved ; I, who for sixty years have 
served the devil as his slave, and have my sonl bur- 
dened with innumerable sinsf 'My son,' answered 
the father, encouraging him, ' doubt not j if you repent 
of them, on the part of God I promise you pardon.' 
Then, gaining confidence, he said to the confessor, 
'Father, I looked upon myself as lost, and already de- 
spaired of salvation; bi.t now I feel a sorrow for my 
sins, which gives me confidence ; and since God has not 
vet abandoned me, I will make my confession.' In fact, 
he made his confession four times on that day, with the 
greatest marks of sorrow, and on the following morning 
received the holy communion. On the sixth day, con- 
trite and resigned, he died. After his death, Jesus 
Christ again spoke to Saint Bridget, and told her that 
that sinner was saved j that he was then in purgatory, 
and that he owed his salvation to the intercession of 
the Blessed Virgin His Mother ; for the deceased, al- 
though he had led so wicked a life, had nevertheless 
always preserved devotion to the dolours, and whenever 
he thought of them, pitied her. 


O my afflicted Mother! Queen of martyrs and d 
sorrows, thou didst so bitterly weep over thy Son, who 
died for my salvation ; but what will thy tears avail 
me if I am lost ? By the merit, then, of thy sorrows, 
obtain me true contrition for my sins, and a real amend- 
ment of life, together with constant and tender com* 

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416 or THE DOLOtmS OT MABT. 

passion for the sofferings of Jesus and thy dolouris. 
And if Jesas and thou, being so innocent, have suffered 
so much for love of me, obtain that at least I, who am 
deserving of hell, may suffer something for your love. 
' Lady/ will I say with St. Bonaventure, ^ if I have 
offended thee, in justice wound my heart; if I have 
served thee, I now ask wounds for my reward. It is 
shameful to me to see my Lord Jesus wounded, and 
thee wounded with Him, and myself without a wound.^ 
In fine, my Mother, by the grief thou didst experi- 
ence in seeing thy Son bow down His head and exphre 
on the cross in the midst of so many torments, I be- 
seech thee to obtain me a good death. Ah, cease not, 
advocate of sinners, to assist my afliicted soul in the 
midst of the combat in which it will have to engage 
on its great passage from time to eternity. And as it 
is probable that I may then have lost my speech, an"' 
strength to invoke thy name and that of Jesus, who are 
all my hope, I do so now ; I invoke thy Son and thee 
to succour me in that last moment ; and I say, Jesus 
and Mary, to you I commend my soul. Amen. 

^ O domiaa .... si te offendi, pro Jnstitia oor menm ynlnera. Si tibi 
•erTiTi,nanopromercedepetoyiilnera . .. Vereoandain enim et opprobrio- 
fum ett mihi videre Doiulniim memn Jetmn ynlneiatam et te oonyuliieni* 
tern dominam, et me Mimm TiliMimom pertnuwlie iU«tiun.~<SWM. ^m. 

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Of Saint SimeorHs Prophecy . 

Is this valley of tears every man is bom to weep, and 
all must suffer, by enduring the evils which are of daily 
occurrence. But how much greater woidd the misery 
of life be, did we also know the future evils which 
await us! 'Unfortunate, indeed, would his lot be/ 
says Seneca, ' who, knowing the future would have to 
suffer all by anticipation.'^ Our Lord shows us this 
mercy. He conceals the trials which await us, that, 
whatever thev may be, we may endure them but once. 
He did not sliow Mary this compassion ; for she, whom 
God willed to be the Queen of Sorrows, and in all things 
like His Son, had to see always before her eyes and 
continually to suffer all the torments that awaited 
her ; and these were the sufferings of the Passion and 
death of her beloved Jesus ; for in the temple. Saint 
Simeon, having received the Divine Child in his arms, 
foretold to her that that Son would be a mark for all 
the persecutions and oppositions of men. '' Behold, thia 
(Jhild is set . . . for a sign which shall be contradicted.'' 
And therefore, that a sword of sorrow should pierce her 
Boul 2 " And thy own soiil a sword shall pierce.^* 

> CaUmitofiu ewet •nhniu flitoil pratoliis, et ante miaeilM muwr.— i^p. 

* Eooe podtiM Mt hio . . . in sfgnam onl oontradioetar : Ek toam iprfot 
mljiMm r«rtnuigiMt gladiu.— £««. U. 34, ». 

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418 FIRST DOLOim. 

The Blessed Virgin herself told Sfunt Matilda, that, 
on this announcement of Saint Simeon, ^all her joy was 
changed into sorrow.'^ For, as it was revealed to Saint 
Teresa,* though the Blessed Mother already knew that 
the life of her Son would be sacrificed for the salvation 
of the world, yet she then learnt more distinctly and in 
greater detail the sufferings and cruel death that awaited 
her poor Son. She knew that He would be contra- 
dicted, and this in everything : contradicted in His 
doctrines ; for, instead of being believed. He would be 
esteemed a blasphemer for teaching that He was the 
Son of God ; this He was declared to be by the impious 
Gaiphas, saying, '* He hath blasphemed, He is guilty 
of death.*'^ Contradicted in His reputation ; for He was 
of noble, even of royal descent, and was despised as 
a peasant : " Is pot this the carpenter's son V^ " Is not 
this the carpenter, the son of Mary?"*'^ He was 
wisdom itself, and was treated as ignorant : " How doth 
this man know letters, having never learned f As 
a false prophet: ''And they blindfolded Him, and 
smote His face . . . saying : ' Prophesy, who is it that 
struck Thee V^ He was treated as a madman : "He 
is mad, why hear you Him t"^^ As a drunkard, a 
glutton, and a friend of sinners : " Behold a man that is 
a glutton, and a drinker of wine, a friend of publicans 
and sinners."^^ As a sorcerer : 'By the prince of devils 
He casteth out devils.''^ As a heretic, and possessed 
by the evil spirit : " Do we not say well of Thee that 
Thou art a Samaiitan, and hast a devil V'^ In a 

* Omnli latitia mea, ad verba Simeonis, vena est mihi in mcBioram^-- 
Spir. OraL 1. i. o. 16. 

* Vita, addit 

* Blasphemaylt . . . reus est mortis. — MatL xxvi. 65, 66. 

* Nonne hio est febri Alius !— J6. xiii. 55. 

' Nonne bic est fiaber, filius Mariss f—Marc. vi. 3. 

* Quomodo bio litteras scit, cum non didicerit ? — Joan, vlL 15. 

* Et velavemnt eum, et percutiebant faoiem c^ns . . . dioentes : ProphefelM, 
UvAb est, qni te peronssit?— J^uc. xzii. 64. 

><> Insanit : quid eum anditis ? --Joan. x. 20. 

i> Ecoe bomo devorator,'et bibens vinum, amicus pubUcanomm et p«o 
MtoCTim. — Lue, vii. 34. 

" In prinoipe dsemoniomm ejidt dssmones. — MatL ix. 34. 

IS Nonne bene dieimof nos, quia Samarltamif et to, et damonlnm habei f 

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word, Jesus was considered so notoriously wicked, that. 
as the Jews said to Pilate, no trial was necessary to con- 
demn Him. "If He were not a malefactor, we would 
not have delivered Him up to thee."^* He was con- 
tradicted in His very soul ; for even His Eternal Father, 
to give place to Divine Justice, contradicted Him, by 
refusing to hear His prayer, when He said, " Father, 
if it be possible, let this chalice pass from Me 5'^^^ and 
abandoned H'ji to fear, weariness, and sadness; so that 
our afflicted Lord exclaimed, "My soul is sorrowful 
unto death F^^ and His interior sufferings even caused 
Him to sweat blood. Contradicted and persecuted. In 
fine, in all His body and in His life ; for He was tortured 
in all His sacred members, in His hands, His feet, His 
liace. His head, and in His whole body; so that, drain- 
td of His blood, and an object of scorn, He died of 
torments on an ignominious cross. 

When David, in the midst of all his pleasures and 
regal grandeur, heard, from the Prophet Nathan, that 
his son should die — **The child that is bom to thee 
shall surely die,"" he could find no peace, but wept, 
fasted, and slept on the ground. Mary with the greatest 
ealmness received the announcement that her Son should 
die, and always peacefully submitted to it ; but what 
grief must she continually have suffered, seeing th is ami- 
able Son always near her, hearing from Him words of 
eternal life, and witnessing His holy demeanour ! Abra- 
ham suffered much during the three days he passed with 
his beloved Isaac, after knowing that he was to lose 
him. O God, not for three days, but for three and thirty 
years had Mary to endure a like sorrow ! But do I say 
a like sorrow t It was as much greater as the Son of 
Mary was more lovely than the son of Abraham. The 
Blessed Virgin herself revealed to Saint Bridget, that, 
while on earth, there was not an hour in which this 
grief did not pierce her soul : 'as often,' she continued, 

M Si non eBMthio male&otor, non tibi tradidiBsemu* cnm.-* lb, xriii 3a 
>» Pater mi, si powiWe est, transeat a me calix late.— Jfatt. xxvl. 39 
>* Tristis eft anima mea usque ad mortem. — Jh. 38. 
» YUiiu qui natoi e«t tlW. morte morietur.— 2 Beg. xii. 14. 

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420 tmBT DOLOtrlL 

^as I looked at my Son, as often as I wrapped EQm in 
His swaddling-dothes, as often as I saw His hands 
and feet, so oft^n was my soul absorbed, so to say, in 
fresh grief; for I thought how he would be crucified.'^' 
The Abbot Rupert contemplates Mary suckling her 
Son, and thus addressing Him: "A bundle of myrrh is 
my Beloved to me; He shall abide between my 
breasts.''^ Ah, Son, I clasp thee in my arms, because 
Thou art so dear to me; but the dearer thou art to 
me, the more dost Thou become a bundle of myirh 
and sorrow to me when I think of thy sufferings. 
'Mary,' says Saint Bemardine of Sienna, 'reflected that 
the strength of the Saints was to be reduced to agony ; 
the beauty of Paradise to be disfigured; the Lord 
of the world to be bound as a criminal ; the Creator of 
all things to be made livid with blows ; theJudge of all 
to be condemned; the Glory of heaven despised; the 
V King of kings to be crowned with thorns, and treated 
as a mock king.'** 

Father Engelgrave says, that it was revealed to the 
same Saint Bridget, that the afflicted Mother, already 
knowing what her Son was to suffer, ' when suckling 
Him, thought of the gall and vinegar ; when swathing 
Him, of the cords with which He was to be bound ; 
when bearing Him in her arms, of the cross to which 
He was to be nailed ; when sleeping, of His death.'*^ 
As often as she put on Him His garment, she reflected 
that it would one day be torn from Him, that He might 
be OTucified ; and when she beheld His sacred hands 
and feet, she thought of the nails which would one day 
pierce them ; and then, as Mary said to Saint Bridget^ 

1' Qaoiles aspidebam Filiam meain, qnotlef InTolrebam pannli, qniydat 
Tidebam ejcu man as et pedes, toties animiu meiu quasi noyo colore absorptai 
est, qaia oog^tabam qaomodo cracifigeretnr. — Rev. lib. vi. oap. 57. 

1* Fasciouliu myrrha dileotas mens mihi ; inter nbexa mea oommofaMtor. 
^OanL i. 12. 

^ Serm. ii. de Glor. Nom, B. M. V. art 3, oap. 1. 

'* Enm lactans, oc^tabat de felle et aoeto; qoando AmoUs inyolrebttl, 
limes oogitabat qnibos ligandus erat ; qoando reitabat, oofj^tabat la 
emoe oonfixom ; qoando docmiebat, oogitabat monuam.— £«» ^. t. <»• 

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0AINT Simon's PBOPHXOT. 421 

< my eyes filled with tears, and my heart was tortured 
with grief .'** 

The Evangelist says, that as Jesns Ohiist advanced 
in years, so also did '^ He advance in wisdom and in 
grace with God and men.*^ This is to be nnderstood 
as Saint Thomas^ explains it, that ^e advanced in 
wisdom and grace in the estimation of men and before 
God, inasmuch as all His works would continually have 
availed to increase His merit, had not grace been bon- 
feired upon Him from the beginning, m its complete 
fulness, in virtue of the hypostatic union. But, since 
Jesus advanced in the love and esteem of others, how 
much more must He have advanced in that of Mary ! 
But, O God, as love increased in her, so much the more 
did her grief increase at the thought of having to lose 
Him by so cruel a death ; and the nearer the time of 
the Passion of her Son approached, so much the deeper 
did that sword of sorrow, foretold by Siunt Simeon, 
pierce the heart of His Mother. This was precisely 
revealed by the angel to Saint Bridget, saying : 'That 
sword of sorrow was every hour approaching nearer to 
the Blessed Yir^n, as the time for the Passion of her 
Son drew near.^ 

Since, then, Jesus, our King, and His most holy 
Mother, did not refuse, for love of us, to suffer such 
cruel pains throughout their lives, it is reasonable that 
we, at least, should not complain if we have to suffer 
something. Jesus, crudfied, once appeared to Sistei 
Magdalen Orsini, a Dominicaness, who had be^ long 
suffering under a great trial, and encouraged her to 
remain, by means of that affliction, with Him on the 
cross. Sister Magdalen complainingly answered : ' 
Lord, Thou wast tortured on the cross only for three 

** Oonli mei fepletantnr laonrmii, •! eor manm qiuwl Mliid«batiir pis 
iristitia.~.A0«. liM. cap. x. 

^ Ei Jmus profloiebat aapientla et state, et gratia apod 0«iim et bo- 
mines. — Lite. IL 52. 

»«3p. q.Tii.aii.12. 

^ Ille dolorii gladins oordi Virg^nlf omul h<na, taato se proptoi ap pW Md 
mabat, qnanto raiu dileotof Flliiis paMionia tempori magis appro|rfiM|iiAlMil 
-^Herm. Jgn. cap. xrtt. 


by Google 

4£8 WrSBT BOlOtTR. 

hiHir^y and I hhste endured my patifl for many yeaors/ 
The Redeemer then replied : * Ah, ignorani aoal^ what 
d6i(t thoti say t from the first moment of my eonceptiou 
I ^ttffered in heatrt all that I afterwards endured dying 
dt the croeaJ If, then, we also suffer and complain, 
Ibi ttB itiiagine Jtesus, and His Mother Mary, addressing 
ihe same words to ourselves. 


father Roviglione, of the Society of Jesus,* related, 
that a yonng man had the devotion of eVery day visiting 
a statue of out Lady of Sorrows, in which she was re- 
presenfed with seven swords piercing her hei^rt. The 
uirfortrinate youth one night committed a mortal sin. 
The n6xt ntioming, going bjs usual to visit the image, 
he perceived that there were no longer only seven, but 
eight swords in the heart of Mary. Wondering at this, 
he^ heaird a voice telling him that his crime had added 
the eighth. This moved his heart j and, penetrated with 
sorrow, he immediately went to confession, and by the 
hitercessidn of his advocate recovered divine grace. 


Ah, my Blessed Mother, it is not one sword only 
With which I ha^ve pierced thy heaSrt, but I have ddne 
00 with as many as are the sins which I have com- 
mitted. Ah, Lady, it is not to thee, who art innocent, 
that sufferings are due, but to me, who am guilty of 
86 many crimes. But since thou hast been pleased to 
suffer so much far me, ah, by thy merits, obtain me 
great sorrow for my sins, and patience under the tiials 
of this life, which will always be light in comparison 
with my demerits; for I have often deserved hell 

*> Fiuo. di Rom, p. S; o. 3. t 

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Of th& Flight qf Jems into Egypt 

As the stag, wounded by an arrow, carries tlie pain 
with him wherever he goes, because he carries with him 
the arrow which has wounded him, so did the Divine 
Mother, after the sad prophecy of Saint Simeon, as we 
have already seen iu the consideration of the first dolour, 
always caiTy her sorrow with her in the continual re- 
membrance of the Passion of her Son. Hailgrino, ex- 
plaining this passage of the Canticles, *' The hairs of 
thy head, as the purple of the king, bound in the chan- 
nel,"^ says that these purple hairs were Mary's continual 
thoughts of the Passion of Jesus, which kept the blood 
which was one day to flow from His wounds always 
before her eyes : ' Thy mind, Mary, and thy thoughts, 
steeped in the blood cffour Lord's Passion, were always 
filled with sorrow, as if they actually beheld the blood 
flowing from His wounds.'^ Thus her Son Himself was 
that arrow in the heart of Mary j and the more amiable 
He appeared to her, so much the more deeply did the 
thought of losing Him by so cruel a death wound her 
heart. Let us now consider the second sword of sor 
row which wounded Mary, in the flight of her Infant 
Jesus into Egjrpt from the persecution of Herod. 

Herod, having heard that the expected Messiah wat 
born, foolishly feared that he would deprive him oi 
his kingdom. Hence Saint Fulgentius, reproving him 
for his folly, thus addresses him : ^ Why art thou trou 
bled, Herod f This King who is born comes not to 
conquer kings by the sword, but to subjugate them 
wonderfully by His death.*^ The impious Herod, there- 

1 Et oom» capitis tui, siout porpara regis, vinota oanalibus. — Cant. rii. 5. 

' Mens tua, O Maria, et cogitationes tuaa tinotse in sangaine domiDioas 
passionis, sic affeotsB semper fuere, quasi reoenter yiderent san((uinem de 
▼uloeribas profiuentem. — In Cant. 1. cit t 

' Quid est quod sic tnrbaris, Herodes ? . . . Rex iste, qui natus est, aoq 
▼enit reffes pugnando superare, sed moriendo mirabiliter sa1:iogase.-^9ini|i 
if i^ph. €t Innoe. ntu^ 

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424 SBCOim D0L0T7X. 

fore, waited to hear from the holy Magi where the King 
was bom, that he might take His life; but finding 
himself deceived, he ordered all the infants who could 
be found in the neighbourhood of Bethlehem to be put 
to death. Then it was that the angel appeared in a 
dream to Saint Joseph, and desired him to "Arise, and 
take the Child and His Mother, and fly into Egypt.''* 
According to Gerson,^ Saint Joseph immediately, on 
that very night, made the order known to Mary ; and 
taking the Infant Jesus, they set out on their journey, 
as it is sufficiently evident from the Gospel itself: 
" Who arose and took the Child and His Mother, by 
night, and retired into Egypt."® O God, says Bfessed 
Albert the Great, in the name of Mary, ' must He then 
fly from men, who came to save menT^ Then the 
afflicted Mother knew that already the prophecy of Si- 
meon concerning her Son began to be verified : " He 
is set for a sign that shall be contradicted."* Seeing 
that He was no sooner bom than He was persecuted 
unto death, what anguish, writes Saint John Chrysos- 
tom, must the intimation of that crael exile of herself 
and her Son have caused in her heart : ' Flee from 
thy friends to strangers, from God's temple to the 
temples of devils. What greater tribulation than that 
a new-bom child, hanging from its mother's breast, and 
she too in poverty, should with Him be forced to fly t'* 
Any one may imagine what Mary must have suf- 
fered on this journey. To Egypt the distance was 
great Most authors agree that it was three hundred 
miles 5 so that it was a journey of upwards of thirty 
days. The road was, according to Saint Bonaventure's 
description of it, ' rough, unknown, and little fre- 

* Surge, «t acoipe pueram et matrem ejus, et fiige in iBgyptam.— Jf«0L 
ii. 13. 

< Joseph, dist 1. 

' Qai ooosargeuL aooepit paenim et matrem ejus noote, et MoeMH !■ 
JEgyptum.—Matt. ii. 14. 

^Debet fagere, tni Salvator est mnndi f t 

' Eooe positos est hio . . . in signom oai oontradicetor.— i^tie. iL 34. 

' Tv^e a tuis ad eztraneos, a templo ad dsemonam &na. .Qa» 
tribalatio, qoam qood recens natos, a ooUo matris pendens, oom ipsa 
paaperoola ftigere oogatot 1 1 

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;)uented.'^® It was in the winter season ; so that they 
had to travel in snow, rain, and wind, through rough 
and dirty roads. Mary was then fifteen years of age 
—a delicate young woman, unaccustomed to such jour- 
neys They had no one to attend upon them. Saint 
Peter Chrysologus says, ' Joseph and Mary have no 
male or female servants ; they were themselves both 
masters and servants.'^^ O God, what a touching sight 
must it have been to have beheld that tender Vu-gin, 
with her new-bom Babe in her arras, wandering through 
the world ! ' But how,' asks Saint Bonaventure, ' did 
they obtain their foodt Where did they repose at 
night t How were they lodged?'^ What can they have 
eaten but a piece of hard bread, either brought by Saint 
Joseph or begged as an alms f Where can they have 
slept on such a road (especially on the two hundred 
miles of desert, where therQ were neither houses nor 
inns, as authors relate), unless on the sand or under a 
tree in a wood, exposed to the air and the dangers of 
robbers and wild beasts, with which Egypt abounded 1 
Ah, had any one met these three greatest personages 
in the world, for whom could he have taken them but 
for poor wandering beggars ? 

They resided in Egypt, according to Brocard and 
Jansenius,^^ in a district called Maturea ; though Saint 
Anselm says^* that they lived in the city of Heiiopolis, 
or at Memphis, now called old Cairo. Here let us con- 
sider the great poverty they must have suffered during 
the seven years which, according to Saint Antoninus,^* 
Saint Thomas, and others, they spent there. They were 
foreigners, unknown, without revenues, money, or rela- 
tions, barely able to support themselves by their humble 
efforts. * As they were destitute,' says Saint Basil, ' it 
is evident that they must have laboured much to pro- 

>* Portalwt earn mater . . . per viam silTestreiii, obsouram, nemorotam, 
■■peram, et inhabitatam — D€ vita Christ*, cap. xiL 

** Joieph et Maria noQ habent fiEunulum, non anciUam iptl domini et 
ftunuli. t 

" Quomodo £Etciebaut de Tiotu seoom portando t Ubi etiam, et qnomodt 
4e noote quiesoebant et bospitabantnr f— 2te VU, O, cap. ziL 

^jbCooacll. *«Ihutfr.inMatt.U. >• P. 4 tit !& «. 81 

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i&6 alBcoin> BOLotm. 

vido iliemselves with the necessaries of life.**" Jjaii 
dolph of Saxony has, moreovTer, written (and let this be 
a consolation for the poor), that ' Mary lived there in 
the midst of such poverty that at times she had not 
even a bit of bread to give to her Son, when, urged by 
hunger, He asked for it.'" 

After the death of Herod, Saint Matthew relateSy 
the angel again appeared to Saint Joseph in a dream, 
and directed them to return to Judea. Saint Bonaven*- 
ture, speaking of this return, considers how much great- 
er the Blessed Virgin's sufferings must have been on ac- 
count of the pains of Jesus being so much increased, 
as He was then about seven years of age— an age, re- 
remark's the Saint, at which 'He was too big to be car- 
ried, and not strong enough to walk without assistance.'" 

The sight, then, of Jesus and Mary wandering as 
fugitives through the world, teaches us that we also 
must live as pilgrims here below; detached from the 
goods which the world offers us, and which we must 
soon leave to enter eternity ; " We have not here a last- 
ing city, but seek one that is to come."^^ To which 
Saint Augustine adds : 'Thou art a guest: thou givest 
a look, and passest on.'^ It also teaches us to embrace 
crosses, for without them we cannot live in this world. 
Blessed Veronica da Binasco, an Augustine nun, was 
carried in spirit to accompany Mary with the Infant 
Jesus on their journey into Egypt ; and after it the 
Divine Mother said, ' Daughter, . thou hast seen with 
how much difficulty we have reached this country j 
now learn that no one receives graces without suffer- 
in^ru Whoever wishes to feel less the sufferings of 
this life must go in company with Jesus and Mary : 

'* Cum enim esset effeni, manifestum est qaod mdorei freqnentalMUi^ 
neoewaria yitae inde sibi qimretet. — Oorut, Men. o. 5. 

1' Aliquando Alias &mem patiens panem petit^ neo nnde dare mater 
habuit^Ft^ Christi, p. 1. cap. xiii. 

'* Nunc sio magnus est quod portari non pnevalet, et sio paimt quod p«r 
■e ire non potest ^/n VUa C. cap. xiii. 

^ N)n enim habemns bio manentem dvitatem, ted flitoram inquirimiia 
tkb. xiiL 14. 

» Bespes es, videe. et trmnsis » BolL 13 Jan. Yli l.&«.Jii 

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"Tate the Child and His Mother.'^ All BuflTerings 
become light, and even sweet and desirable, to him 
who by his love bears this Son and this Mother in his 
heart. Let us, then, love them j let us console Maxy 
by welcoming in our hearts her Son, who men even 
now jopntixiue to perseoate by their sins. 


The most holy Virgin one day appeared to Blessed 
GoUette, a Franciscan nun, and showed her the Infant 
Jesus in a basin, torn to pieces, and then said; 'Thus 
it is that sinners continually treat my Son, renewing 
His death and my sorrows. My daughter, pray for 
them, that they may be converted.'^ To this we may 
add another vision, which the venerable Sister Joanna 
of Jesus and Mary, also a Franciscan nun, had. She 
was one day meditating on the infant Jesus persecuted 
by Herod, when she heard a great noise, as of armed 
men pursuing some one j and immediately she saw be- 
fore her a most beautiful child, who, all out of breath 
aiid running, exclaimed : ' O my Joanna, help Me, con- 
ceal Me ! I am Jesus of Nazareth ; 1 am nying from 
sinners, who wish to kill Me, and persecute Me aa 
Herod did. Do thou save Me.^ 


Then, Mary, even after thy Son hath died by tte 
hands <^ men, who persecuted Him unto death, these 
ungrateful men have not yet ceased persecuting Him 
by their sins, and continue to afflict thee, sorrowftd 
Mother ! Aiid, O God, I also have been one of these. 
Ah, my most sweet Mother, obtain me tears to weep 
over such ingratitude. By the sufferings thou didst en- 
dure in that journey to Egypt, assist me in ihe journey 
in which I am now engaged towards eternity ; ' 
thus I may at length be united with thee in loviuj 
persecuted Saviour in the kingdom of the ble 

** Aodpe pammm ft nm^nn dns.— ifo^ IL IS. 
»Bo11.6f[ariSiimm.Vlfle.^ •* Ap.p.OcB9T*8«rT.I>oLil]llc, 

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Of the LossQfJestM in the Temple. 

The Apostle Saint James says that oar perfectioQ 
consists in the virtue of patience. ^^ And patience hath 
a perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, fail- 
ing in nothing."* Our Lord having, then, given us 
the blessed Virgin Mary as a model of perfection, it 
was necessary that she should be laden with sorrows, 
that in her we might admire heroic patience, and en- 
deavour to imitate it. The sorrow which we have this 
day to consider was one of the ^eatest that Mary had 
to endure in her life, — ^the loss of her Son in the temple. 
He who is bom blind feels but little the privation of 
the light of day j but he who has once enjoyed it, and 
loses it by becoming blind, indeed suffers much. Thus 
it is also with those unhappy souls who, blinded by the 
mure of the world, have but little knowledge of God — 
they suffer but little at not finding Him j but, on the 
other hand, he who, illumined by celestial light, has 
become worthy to find by love the sweet presence of 
the supreme good, God, how bitterly does he grieve 
when he finds himself deprived of it ! Hence, let us 
s^e how much Mary must have suffered from this third 
sword of sorrow which pierced her heart, when, having 
lost her Jesus in Jerusalem for three days, she was de- 
prived of His most sweet presence, accustomed as she 
was constantly to enjoy it. 

St. Luke relates, in the second chapter of his Gospel, 
that the Blessed Virgin, with her spouse St. Joseph, 
and Jesus, was accustomed every year at the paschal 
solemnity to visit the temple. When her Son was 
twelve years of age, she went as usual, and Jesus re- 
mained in Jerusiuem. Mary did not at once perceive 
it, thinking He was in company with others. When 

> FatimtUi autem opoi p«iK»otain habett xA litfi pwlbott et in^gil la 
bqUo defloiantM^— J<m L «. 

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toss OB* ^Escrs m tsk imo?sjL 429 

Bhe reached Nazareth, she mquired for her Son ^ but 
not finding Him, she immediately returned to Jerusa- 
lem to seek for Him, and only found Him after three 
days. Now let us imagine what anxiety this afflicted 
Mother must have experienced in those three days dur- 
ing which she was seeking everywhere for her Son, 
and inquiring for Him with the spouse in the Can- 
ticles: "Have you seen him whom my soul lovethf 
But she could have no tidings of Him. O, with how 
for greater tenderness must Mary, overcome by fetigue, 
and having not yet found her beloved Son, have re- 

Seated those words of Ruben, concerning his brother 
bseph ; "The boy doth not appear ; and whither shall 
I go f^ 'My Jesus doth not appear, and I no longer 
know what to do to find Him ; but where shall I go 
without my treasure V Weeping continually, with how 
much truth did she repeat with David, during those 
three days, " My tears have been my bread day and 
night, whilst it is said to me daily': Where is thy 
Godt''* Wherefore Pelbart, with reason, says, that 
' during those nights the afflicted Mary did not sleep y 
she was constantly weeping, and entreating Grod that 
He would enable her to find her Son.'* Frequently, 
during that time, according to Saint Bernard, she ad- 
dresses her Son in the words of the spouse in the Can- 
ticles : " Show me where thou feedest, where thou liest 
in the mid-day, less I begin to wander.'** My Son, 
tell me where thou art, that I may no longer wander, 
seeking thee in vain. 

There are some who assert, and not without reason, 
that this dolour was not only one of the greatest, but 
the greatest and most painful of aU. For, in the first 
place, Mary, in her other dolours, had Jesus with her : 

* Nam quern dUigIt anima mea, Tidi«ti8f — Ccmi. Ui. 3. 
■ Pner non oomparet, et ego quo ibo t— Gew. xxxviL 39. 

* Fuemnt mihi laoryiiUB men panef die ac noote, dum didtor mihi qnt- 
lldie : Ubi e*l Bens tnus Y— P<. xli. 4. 

* mas nootea insomnes dnxH in lacrymosis orationibua, Deumdepraeaiido^ 
ttt darot sibi reperire Filium.— iSteO. L 3, p. 4, a. 3. 

* Indiea mihi, quem dilifit anima mea, uM pafoaa, qM tnhm in iMlMi^ 
m wgtA »taci|Ham>— Ctonfc L A> 

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slie BuJQ&red when Saiojb Simeon pr<«>}^]l;«^ied to lier ipi 
the temple ; she suffered in the flight into Egypt ^ b^ 
still in <x)mpany with Jesus ; but in this oolou^ shd 
Buffered far £:om Jesus^ not knowing where Qe wi^s : 
" And the light of my eyes itself is i^ot with me.'^ 
Thus weeping she then said, ' Ah, the light of my eye% 
my dear Jesus, is no longer with me ; He is far from 
me, and I know not whither he is gone/ Origen^ays 
that through the love which this holy Mother bore her 
Son, ^ she suffered more in this loss of Jesus than any 
martyr ever suffered in the separation of his soul from 
his body/* Ah, too long indeed were those three days 
for Mary ; they seem three age^ ; they were^ all bitter- 
ness, for there was none to comfort her. And who jcan 
ever comfort me, she said with Jeremias, who canpon- 
sole me, since He who could alone do so is far from me f 
and therefore my eyes can never weep enough : " Thejre- 
fore do I weep, and my eyes run down with water : b^- 
cause the Comforter ... is far from me.''* And "with 
Tobias she repeated, " What manner of jpy shall be 
to me who sit in darkness, and aee not die light of 
heaven ri<> 

In the second place, Mary, in all her other sorrows, 
well understood their cause — the redemption of the 
world, ihe Divine will ; but in this she knew not the 
cause of the absence of her Son. ' The sprrowM Mo- 
ther,' sjEiys Lanspergius, ^ was grieved at the absence of 
Jesus, because, in her humility, die considei^d herself 
unworthy to remain longer with or to attend upon Him 
on earth, and have the charge of so great a treigisure.'^* 

* And who knows,' perhaps she thought withifli h«r8ell 

* maybe I have not served Him as I ought ] perhaps I 

' Lumen oonloram meoram, et ipsum non est meomn. — P*. zzxviL 11. 

*Vehementer doloit, qaia yehementer amabat. Flos dolnit de ejni 
amissione, qoam aliquia martyr dolorem sentiat 4« aDina|B a C|oxp<^ fl^paia- 
tione.->J9<m. infr. Oct. Ep. t 

* Idoiroo ego plorans, et ooalna meof dedaoeni aqoaa : quia loi^ i^otut 
68t a me consolatnr. — Thrtn. L 16. 

i<* Quale gaudium mihi erit^ qui in tenelvtoaedeo, at lomon <»U,iiOa.i^«k 
'Ibh. V. 12. 

1' Triitabatnr ex huniUtate, qoia arbitrabator le mdfgnapi aqi ^am J^ 
tfoans oommlflfui fkxaiat thetannu.— i>0M. S| jfotji iT^ #9^. ^ 

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toss OJP ^E&US IN TBS TBHl^, 43l 

have been guUty of some negligence, for which He ha? 
left me.' * They sought Him/ says Origen, ' lest per- 
chance He had entirely left them.'^ It is certain that, 
to a soal which loves God, there can be no greater 
pain Chan the fear of having displeased Him. There- 
fore in this sorrow alone did Mary complain, lovingly 
expostnlating with Jesus, after she had found Him : 
*' Son, why hast thou done so to us ? Thy father and 
I have sought Thee sorrowing.''^^ By these words she 
had no idea of reproving Jesus, as heretics blasphem- 
ously assert, but only meant to express to Him the 
grief proceeding from the great love she bore Him 
which she had experienced during His absence : * It 
was not a rebuke,' says Denis the Carthusian, ' but a 
loving complaint.'^* In fine, this sword so cruelly 
pierced the heart of the most holy Virgin, that the 
blessed Benvenuta, desiring one day to share the holy 
Mother's pain in this dolour, and entreating her for 
this favour, Mary appeared to her with the infant 
Jesus in her arms j but while Benvenuta was enjoy- 
ing the sight of this most beautiful child, in a moment 
she was deprived of it. So great was her grief, that 
she had recourse to Mary, entreating her to mitigate 
it, that it might not cause her death. In three days 
the holy Virgin again appeared, and said : ' Know, my 
daughter, that thy sorrow is only a small part of that 
which I endured when I lost my Son."^ 

This sorrow of Mary ought, in the first place, to 
serve as a consolation to those souls who are desolate, 
and no longer enjoy, as they once enjoyed, the sweet 
presence of their Lord. They may weep, but they 
should weep in peace, as Mary wept the absence of 
her Son ; and let them take courage and not fear that 

^ QtuBrebant enm, ne forte reoessiMet ab eii, ne relinqnenf eot &d alia 
kransmigrasset, ad qaod magiB pnto, ne revertiuet ad oobIoi.— Jn L%ie, Horn. 

** Fili, qaid feoisti nobis tie t eooe pater taas et ego dolentes qoarebamiM 
io.— Luc. ii. 48. 

^ £t est verbom hoc non qaati inorepatio, led qoaid pia et i 
qawrtto.— /n Luc iL 

^ JUrohcM Piar. 30 0«t 

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432 THISD DOI^Oim. 

OD this aocounii they have lost the Divine favour ^ for 
God Bimself assured Saint Teresa, that ' no one is lost 
without knowing it ^ and that no one is deceived 
witlout wishing to be deceived/ If our Lord with- 
draws Himself from the sight of a soul which loves 
Him, He does not, therefore, depart from the heart ; 
He often conceals Himself from a soul, that she may 
seek Him with a more ardent desire and greater love. 
But whoever wishes to find Jesus, must seek Him, not 
amidst delights and the pleasures of the world, but 
amidst crosses and mortifications, as Mary sought 
Him : " We sought Thee sorrowing,'' as Mary said to 
her Son. * Learn, then, from Mary,' says Origen, ' to 
seek Jesus.'^® 

Moreover, in this world she wonld seek no other 
good than Jesus. Job was not unhappy when he lost 
all that he possessed on earth : riches, children, health, 
and honours, and even descended from a throne to a 
dunghill 5 but because he had God with him, he was 
even then happy. Saint Augustine says, ' he had lost 
what God had given him, but he still had God Him- 
seW^'^ Truly miserable and unhappy are those souls 
which have lost God. If Mary wept the absence of 
her Son for three days, how should sinners weep, who 
have lost divine grace, and to whom God says : " You 
are not my people, and I will not be yours."^' For 
this is the effect of sin ; it separates the soul from God : 
" Your iniquities have divided between you and your 
God."^' Hence, if sinners possess all the riches of 
the earth, but have loRt God, all, even in this world, 
becomes vanity and affliction to them, as Solomon con- 
fessed : "Behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit/'^ 
But the greatest misfortune of these poor blind souls 
is, aa St. Augustine observes, that ^if they lose an ox, 

** Diioe nbi earn qiuerentet reperiant, nt et ta qcunens oam JoM|»ti ICaite* 
que reperias. — Bom. xviiL in Luc 

'' Amisds omnibiu talii est, quia lUam qui dederat omnia non arnUW- 
Mnarr. in Ps. Ir, 

>* Vot non popoloi mens, et ego non ero Tetter.— 0<. L 9. 

** Inqoitatoe TestrB diviierant inter voe «t Deom yestnuBif— Jk. lix. t. 

» jBoot oniTtBM Taaitea et aiUotio ipiritas.-<naMl» L 14 

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LOSS or JESUS iir thx templx. 49^ 

they do not fail to go in Bearoh of it ; if tbey lose n 
steep, thev use all diligence to find it ; if they lose n 
beast of burden, they cannot rest j but when they lose 
their God, who is the supreme good, they eat, drink, 
tnd repose.'^^ 


In the Annual Letters of the Society of Jesus, it is 
related, that in India a young man was leaving his 
room with the intention of committing a sin, when he 
heard a voice saying ; * Stop ! where art thou going V 
He turned around, and saw an image in relief, repre- 
senting our Lady of Sorrows, who, drawing out the 
sword which was in her breast, said : 'Take this dag- 
ger and pierce my heart, rather than wound my Son 
by committing such a sin t ' On hearing these words, 
the youth prostrated himself on the ground, and burst- 
ing into tears, with deep sorrow, asked and obtained 
pardon from God and our Blessed Lady. 


O Blessed Vir^, why dost thou afflict thyself, 
seeking for thy lost Son t Is it that thou knowest not 
where He is ? Knowest thou not that He is in thy 
heart ? Art thou ignorant that He feeds amongst lilies f 
Thou thyself hast said it : " My Beloved to me, and I 
to Him, who feedeth among the lilies.''^ These, thy, 
thoughts and affections, which are all humble, pure, 
and noly, are all lilies which invite thy Divine Spouse 
to dwell in thee. Ah, Mary, dost thou sigh after Jesus, 
thou who lovest none but Jesus Y Leave sighs to roe, 
and to so many sinners who love Him not, and who 
have lost Him by offending BUm. My most amiable 
Mother, if through my fault thy Son is not yet re- 

1 P«rdlt homo boTem, et pott earn Tadit : perdit ovem, et aolidto mm 
qwwit : perdit atinom, et non qaiesoit. Perdit homo Doom, et oomedi^ •! 
hiUt, et qoieecit t 

^jySeetxu mens mihl, e« ego ffli, qui pudtor inter lilUk—OiMf. IL Uk 

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tamed to my soul, do thou obtain for me that I may 
find Hhn. I well know that He is found by those 
who seek Him: " The Lord is good to the soul that 
se^eth Him.''^ But do thou make me seek Him aa 
I ought. Thou art the gate through which all find 
Jesus ; through thee I also hope to find Him, Amen 


On the Meeting of Mary wUh Jesus, when He was gom§ 
to Death. 

Saint Bernardino says,^ that to form an idea of 
the greatness of Mary's grief in losing her Jesus by 
death, we must consider the love that this Mother bore 
to her Son. All mothers feel the sufferings of their 
children as their own. Hence, when the Canaanitish 
woman entreated our Saviour to deliver her daughter 
from the devil that tormented her, she asked Him 
rather to pity her, the mother, than her daughter : 
" Have mercy on me, O Lord, Thou Son of David, my 
daughter is grievously troubled by a devil/'^ But what 
mother ever loved her son as Mary loved Jesus ? He 
was her only Son, reared amidst so many troubles ; a 
most amiable Son, and tenderly loving His Mother ; a 
Son who, at the same time that He was her Son, was 
also her God, who had come on earth to enkindle in 
the heaiiis of all the fiie of Divine love, as He Hunself 
declared : " I am come to cast fire on the earth, and 
what will I but that it be kindled?"^ Let us only imag- 
ine what a flame He must have enkindled in that pure 

** Bonus est Dominos . . . aninue qtuerenti iUmn. — Uuretu UL 25. 
» T. iU. 1. 45, p. 2. 

* Ififerere mei, Domini, fili Dayid: Ilia mea male adsmonio Tezalnr.^ 
Matt XT. 22. 
' Ijniem "vvnl mittere in terram, et quid toIo nisi at aoeeadahir t J mtk 

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heart of His holy Mother, void as it was of every earth- 
* ly affection. In fine, the Blessed Virgin herself told 
Samt Bridget, ' that love had rendered her heart and 
that of her Son but one '* That blending together of 
Servant and Mother, of Son and God, created in the 
heart of Mary a fire composed of a thousand flames. 
But the whole of this flame of love was afterwards, at the 
time of the passion, changed into a sea of grief, when 
Saint Bemardine declares, 'that if all the sorrows of 
the world were united, they wotdd not equal that of the 
glorious Virgin Mary.'* Yes, because, as Richard of St. 
Lawrence writes, 'the more tenderly his Mother loved, so 
mucK the more deeply was she wounded.'^ The greater 
was her love for Him, the greater was her grief at the 
sight of His sufferings ) and especially when she met her 
Son, already condemned to death, and bearing His cross 
to' the place of punishment. This is the fourth sword 
of sorrow which we have this day to consider. 

The Blessed Virgin revealed to Saint Bridget, that 
when the time of the Passion of our Lord was approach- 
ing, her eyes were always filled with tears, as she thought 
of her beloved Son, whom she was about to lose on 
earth, and that the prospect of that approaching suffer- 
ing caused her to be seized with fear, and a cold sweat 
to cover her whole body.'' Behold, the appointed day 
at length came, and Jesus, in tears, went to take leave 
of His Mother, before going to death. Saint Bonaven- 
tnre, contemplating Mary on that night, says : ' Thou 
didst spend it without sleep, and whilst others slept 
thou didst remain watching.'^ In the morning the dis- 
ciples of Jesus Christ came to this afflicted Mother, the 
one to bring her one account, the other another ; but all 
were tidings of sorrow, verifying in her the prophecy 

* JJnxaa erat oor meimi ei oor Filii mei. 

* Onmeg doloret mandi ... si easent •imnl oonjancti, non essent tot at 
tanti, qnantas ftiit dolor gloriosas Virginii Maris.— .Serm. in die Ven. SaneL 

*> Qiu^nto dilezit tenerint, tanto etrt Tulntrata proftrndias.— 2>e Lmtd, 
Vira. Hb. lU. cap. 12. 

7 JbBminente paMione Filii mei, laoryma «rant in oonlia ejna, et gndor is 
eorpore pm timore. — Ren lib. iy. cap. 70. 

* Sine fomno doziiti, eC soporatif osterli lifU perauuHdctL^Qf. 4l 
Om^ B. M. r. . 

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of JeremLis: '^ Weeping, slie hath wept in the night, 
and her tears are on her cheeks } there is none to com- 
fort her of all them that were dear to her.''* Some then 
oame to relate to her the cruel treatment of her Son in 
the hoose of Oaiphas ; and others, the insolts He had 
received from Herod. Finally — ^to come to our point, 
I omit all the rest — Saint John came, and annonnced 
to Maiy, that the most unjust Pilate had already con- 
demned Him to die on the cross. I say the most un- 
just Pilate; for, as Saint Leo remarks, ^This unjusi 
judge condemned Him to death with the same lipi 
with which he had declared Him innocent.'^® *Ah, 
afflicted Mother,' said Saint John, Hhy Son is already 
condemned to death ; He is already gone forth, bearing 
Himself His cross, on His way to CsSvary,' as the Saini 
afterwards related in his. Gospels: "and bearing His 
own cross, He went forth to that place which is called 
Calvary."" ' Come, if thou desirest to see Him, and 
bid Him a last fEureweU, in some street through wnich 
He must pass.' 

Mary goes with Saint John, and by the blood with 
which the way is sprinkled, she perceives that her Son 
has already passed. This she revealed to Saint Bridget : 
*By the footsteps of my Son, I knew where He had 
passed : for along the way the ground was marked with 
blood.'" Saint Bonaventure^ represents the afflicted 
Mother taking a shorter way, and placing herself at the 
comer of a street, to meet her afflicted Son as He was 
passing by. 'The most sorrowful Mother,' says Saint 
Bernard, * met her most sorrowful Son.'^* While Mary 
was waiting in that place, how much must she have 
heard said by the Jews, who soon recognized her, 

* PloTans plorayit in noote, et lacryxna ejng in nuodllis cr)ns : son 6gft q«t 
oonaoletor earn ex omnibng caria ejus.— ^TAren. i. 2. 

*® Hfldem labiis mifit ad oraoem, qnibng earn proniintiaTerat innooenlim. 
— 2>e JPcM. •. 3. 

" Et bi^alaBS libi oraoem, ezirit hi earn, qui didtor Oalywls, looaaw^ 
/oan. ziz. 17. 

" Ex yestigiig Filii me! oogttosoebam inoeianm ejus : quo emiin pw )ae<» 
tat apparebat terra inftisa sanguine.— £«v. Ub. L cap. 10. 

" De Vita C. 3ap. Ixxvi 

M MoigHtfriina Mat»r mcBttiMimo FiUo ooeonit 

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flgainst heir beloved Son^ and peiiiaps even woicb of 
mookiDg against herselfl Alaa, what a soeoe of soiv 
rows then presented itself b^oie h^ ! — i^ nails, the 
hammers, the cords, the fatal instromente of the death 
of h^ Son, all of which were borne before Him. And 
what a sword must the sound of that trampet have 
been to her heart, which proclaimed the sentenoe pro- 
Bonnoed against her Jesos ! But behold, the instm* 
ments, the trumpeter, and the executioners, have id- 
ready passed } she raised her eyes, and saw^ God I a 
young man covered with blood and wounds from head 
to foot, a wreath of thorns on His head, and two heavy 
beams on His shonld^rs. She looked at ffim, and 
hardly recogni^d Him, saying, with Isaias, ''and 
we have seen Him, and there was no sightlinesa.'^ 
Yes, for the wounds, the Inruises, and the clotted blood, 
gave Him the appearance of a leper : ^' we have thonghi 
Him as it were a leper.^'^ so that He could no longer 
be known : '' and His look was, as it w^re, hidden and 
despised ; whereupon we esteemed Him not."^'^ But at 
length love revesued Him to her, and as soon as she 
knew thai it indeed was He, ahj what love and fear 
must then have filled her heart I as Saint Peter of Al« 
oantaca says in his meditations.^^ On the one hand 
she desired to behold Him, and on the oihBT she dreaded 
BO heart-rending a sight. At length th^ looked at each 
other. The Son wiped from his eyes the clotted blood, 
which, aa it was revealed to Saint Bridget,^ preveateo 
Him from seeing, and looked at Bis Mother, and th« 
Biother looked at her Son. Ah, looka of bitter grie^ 
which, as so many arrows, pieroed through and through 
those two beautiM and loving souls. When Margaret, 
the daughter of Sir Thomas More, met her fEvdier on 
his way to death, she could only exdaim, ' O flAthei I 

>* Bt Tidimiis earn, vtwrn «mt aspeetoi.— ill. Ifi. % 
>■ BC not patsrlmog «am qoail lepfMaa.-.J!i; Iffl. 4. 
V Bt qoMt abtoondttiis ToUat ^ns •» detptotai, and* vm 


«*B«T. LLC 10.1 Llr.«.m 

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fjAtber V and fell &anting at bis feet. Mary, at tli6 
mght of her Son, on His way to Calvary, did not fmnt, 
no, for it was not becoming, as Fatber Siiaiez remarks,*^ 
tbat tbis Motber sboald lose tbe ase of ber reason; nor 
did sbe die, for God reserved ber for greater grief: bat 
tbofogb sbe did not die, ber sorrow was enongb to bave 
cans^ ber a tbousand deatlis. 

Tbe Motber would bave embraced Him, as Scant 
Anselm says, but tbe guards tbrust ber a«de witb in- 
Bults, and urged forward tbe suffering Lord ; and Mary 
followed Him. Ab, boly Virgin, whitber goest tbou t 
To Calvary. And canst tbou trust tbyself to bebold 
Him wbo is tby life, banging on a cross ? " And tby 
life sball be, as it were, banging before tbee/'*^ ' Ab, 
stop, my motber' (says Saint Lawrence Justinian, in 
tbe name of tbe Son), Vbere goest tbou t Where 
wouldst tbou comet If tbou comest wbitber I go, tbou 
wilt be tortured witb my sufferings, and I witb tbine.'^ 
But altbougb tbe sight of ber dying Jesus was to cost 
ber sucb bitter sorrow, tbe loving Mary will not leave 
Him : tbe Son advanced, and tbe Motber followed, to 
be also crucified witb ber Son, as tbe Abbot William 
says : tbe Motber also took up ber cross amd followed, 
to be crucified witb Him.'^ 'We even pity wild 
beasts,'^ aa Saint Jobn Cbrysostom writes j and did 
we see a lioness following ber cub to deatb, tbe sigbt 
would move us to compassion. And sball we not also 
be moved to compassion on seeing Mary follow ber 
immaculate Lamb to deatb? Let us, tben, pity ber, and 
let us also accompany ber Son and berself, by bearing 
witb patience tbe cross wbicb our Lord imposes on ua. 
Saint Jobn Cbrysostom asks wby Jesus Cbrist, in HJs 
otber sufferings, was pleased to endure tbem alone, but 

** Dtt Ido. q. 51, o. 3, $ 2. 

» Et erit ylta toa quasi pendens ante te.— Detit zzvilL 66. 

** Ut qnid yenisti, mater meaf Dolor tuns menm aoget, oraoiatos taot 
InuMflglt DM.— l>e IHumph. Chr, Agone, cap. xL 

* Tollebat et mater omoem snam, et seqaebatnr earn, erao\flsreiKla Mm 
lffin,—Dario in Cant yiL 7. 

I etlan odstremnr.— in PhU, Horn, 4. 

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in carrying His cross w«s assisted by the Cyrenean ? 
He replies, that it was ' that thou may est understand that 
the cross of Christ is not sufficient without thine.'^ 


. Our Saviour one day appeared to Sister Diomira, ft 
nuH ii Florence, and said, * Think of Me and love Me, 
and I will think of thee and love thee.' At the same 
time He presented her with a bunch of flowers and a 
cross, signifying thereby that the consolations of the 
Saints in this world are always to be accompanied by 
the cross. The cross unites souls to God. Blessed 
Jerome Emilian, when a soldier, and loaded with sins, 
was shut up by his enemies in a tower. There, moved 
by his misfortunes, and enlightened by God to change 
his life, he had recourse to the ever-b*lessed Virgin ; 
and from that time, by the help of this Divine Mother, 
he began to lead the life of a saint, so much so that he 
merited once to see the very high place which God had 
prepared for him in heaven. He became the founder 
of the religious order of the Somaschi, died" as a saint, 
and has lately been canonized by the holy Church. 


My sorrowful Mother, by the merit of that grief 
which thou didst feel in seeing thy beloved Jesus led 
to death, obtain me the grace, that I also may bear with 
patience the crosses which God sends m-e. Happy in- 
deed shall I be, if I only know how to accompany thee 
with my cross until death. Thou with thy Jesus — 
and you were both innocent — hast canied a far heavier 
cross ; and shall I, a sinner, who have deserved hell, 
refuse to carry mine 1 Ah, immaculate Virgin, from 
thee do I hope for help to bear all crosses with patienoa 

' Ut intelliiiM, Okrlfti orao«m non soffioer* iIm Ioa. 

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Of the Death of Jesus. 

n e have now to witness a new kind of inortyrdo^a 
—a Mother condemned to see an innocent Son, and one 
whom she loves with the whole affection of her soul, 
cruelly tormented and put to death before her own 
eyes: '^ There stood by the cross of Jesus His Mo- 
ther.''^ Saint John believed that in these words he 
had said enough of Mary's martyrdom. Consider her 
at the foot of the cross in the presence of her dying 
Son, and then see if there be sorrow like unto her sor- 
row. Let us remain for awhile this day on Calvary, 
and consider the fiffch sword which, in the death of 
Jesus, transfixed the heart of Mary. 

As soon as our agonized Redeemer had reached the 
Mount of Calvary, the executioners stripped Him of 
His clothes, and piercing His hands and feet * not with 
sharp but with blunt nails,' as Saint Bernard says, to 
torment Him more,^ they fastened Him on the cross. 
Having crucified Him, they planted the cross, and thus 
left Him to die. The executioners left Him ; but not 
so Mary. She then drew nearer to the cross, to be pre- 
sent at His death : ' I did not leave Him ' (thus the 
Blessed Virgin revealed to Saint Bridget), ' but stood 
nearer to the cross.'^ * But what did it avail thee, O 
Lady,' says Saint Bonaventure, ' to go to Calvary, and 
see this Son expire ? Shame should have prevented 
thee ; for His disgrace was thine, since thou wert His 
Mother. At least, horror of witnessing such a crime as 
the crucifixion of a G-od by His own creatures, should 
have prevented thee from going there.' But the same 
Saint answers, 'Ah, thy heart did not then think of its 
own sorrows, but of the sufferings and death of thy 

' Stabant atrtMn Jazta eraoem Jef a mater ejus, &e.^-J^om. sdx. 9S. 

* Bfo Qon Mpamter ab w^ tt ftabam Tioinlor oraoi ^oi.— Av. L i. «u M 

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9HB DBATH 07 JESUS. 441 

dear Son/* and therefore thou wouldst thyself be pre- 
sent, at least to compassionate Him. ' Ah, true Mo- 
ther/ says the Abbot William, ' most loving Mother, 
whom not even the fear of death could separate from 
thy beloved Son.'^ But, Grod, what a cruel sight 
was it there to behold this Son in agony on the cross, 
and at its foot this Mother in agony, suffering all the 
torments endured by her Son ! Listen to the words in 
which Mary revealed to Saint Bridget the sorrowful 
state in which she saw her dying Son on the cross : 
' My dear Jesus was breathless, exhausted, and in His 
last agony on the cross j His eyes were sunk, half- 
dosed, and lifelesi^ ^ His lips hanging, and His mouth 
open J His cheeks hollow and drawn in j His face elon- 
gated, His nose sharp, His countenance sad : His head 
had fallen on His breast. His hair was black with blood, 
His stomach collapsed. His arms and legs stiff, and His 
whole body covered with wounds and blood.'^ 

All these sufferings of Jesus were also those of Mary; 

* Every torture inflicted on the body of Jesus/ says Saint 
Jerome, 'was a wound in the heart of the Mother.'^ 
'Whoever then was present on the Mount of Calvary,' 
says Saint John Chrysostom, ' migth see two altars, on 
which two great sacrifices were consummated ; the one 
in the body of Jesus, the other in the heart of Mary.' 
Nay, better still may we say with Saint Bonaventure, 

* there was but one altar — ^that of the cross of the Son, 
ou which, together with this Divine Lamb, the victim, 
the Mother was also sacrificed/ therefore the Saint 
asks this Mother, ' O Lady, where art thou ? near the 
cross? Nay, rather, thou art on the cross, crucified, sacri- 
ficing thyself with thy Son.'^ Saint Augustine assures 
ns of the same thing: 'The cross and nails of the Son 

* O domina .... qoare iyisti ad Calvaria looam f . . . Cur te non retinoit 
pador molieris, car te non retinuit horror fkoinorist Non oonsiderabat oor 
taoia . . . horrorem sed dolorem. — Stim. Am. P. i. cap. 3. 

• Plane mater, qiuB neo In terrors mortli Filiam deserebat— Sismi. hr. 4$ 

• Rer. Ub. i. cap, 10 : Ub. iv. cap. 70. 

^ Qnot IflBsiones in oorpore Chiisti, tot ynlnera In oorde matrfi. 

• O domina mea, abi stabasT Namquid tuntam lozta onuMmt Ii 

#Mrto im QrtiM torn Tilto IN oradftn eru Moam.«--i8mii. uiak P. L «nb a 

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442 MMH DOtOtTS. 

were also those of His Mother j with Christ cmeified 
the Mother was also crucified.'^ Yes; for, as Saint 
Bernard sajs, 'Love inflicted on the heart of Mary the 
tortures caused by nails in the body of Jesus/^® So 
much so, that, as Saint Bernardino writes, 'At the same 
time that the Son sacrificed His body, the Mothei 
sacrificed her soul.'^ 

Mothers ordinarily fly from the presence of theii 
dying children ; but when a mother is obliged to wit- 
ness such a scene, she procures all possible relief for 
her child j she arranges his bed, that he may be more 
at ease; she administers refreshments to him; and 
thus the poor mother soothes her own grief. Ah, most 
afflicted of all Mothers ! Mary, thou hast to witness 
the agony of thy dying Jesus ; but thou canst admin- 
ister Hirn no relief. Mary heard her Son exclaim, 
' I thirst/ but she could not even give Him a drop of 
water to refresh Him in that great thirst. She could 
only say, as Saint Vincent Ferrer remarks, ' My Son, 
I have only the water of tears.'^ She saw that on 
that bed of torture her Son, suspended by three nails, 
could find no repose ; she would have clasped Him in 
her arms to give Him relief, or that at least He might 
there have expired; but she could not. 'In vain,' 
says Saint Bernard, ' did she extend her arms ; they 
sank back empty on her breast.'^^ She beheld that 
poor Son, who in His sea of grief sought consolation, 
as it was foretold by the prophet, but in vain : " I 
have trodden the winepress alone ; I looked about and 
there was none to help; I sought, and there was 
none to give aid."" But who amongst men would 

* Cruz et olayi Filii ftienmt et Hatiig : Ohnsto orooUlzo cpuoifigebatnr M 
Mater, t 

'0 Quod in came Christi aflrebant clayi, in Virffinls mente affectus ern 

" Dum ille corpus, ista gpiritum immolabat— ^Serm. inFer. Ihm. 

" O Filiui, non habeo nisi aquam lacrymarum. — Serm, in Fer. vi. Parasc 

^* Volebat amplecti Gbristum in alto pendentem, sed manns firustra prO' 
tensse in se complezse redibant. — £>e Lament. B. M. V. 

^* Torou <ur calcavi solus . . . Ciroumspezi, et non erat anziliator : quasif^ 
9t non 'nit qui aiiUuyxret.— /«. Iziii. 3; 5. 

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coniole Him; siiice all were enemies Y Even on the 
cross He was taunted and blasphemed on all sides : 
" and they that passed by, blasphemed Him, wagging 
their heads/'^*^ Some said in His face, " If thou be the 
Son of God, c^me down from the cross."^^ Others^ "He 
saved others, Himself He cannot save."^'' Again, ' If 
He be the King of Israel, let Him now come down 
from the cross/'^^ Our Blessed Lady herself said to 
St. Bridget,^ ^ I heard some say that my Son was a 
thief; others, that He was an impostor; others^ that 
no one deserved death more than he did j and every 
word was a new sword of griefs to my heart.' 

But that which the most increased the sorrows 
which Mary endured through compassion for her Son, 
was hearing Him complain on the cross that even His 
Eternal Father had abandoned Him : ^' My Grod, My 
Qt>d, why hast Thou forsaken Me t '^ Words which 
the Divine Mother. told the same Saint Bridget, could 
never, during her whole life, depart from her mind.^ 
So that the afflicted Mother saw her Jesus suffering on 
every side ; she desired to comfort Him, but could not. 
And that which grieved her the most was to see that 
she herself, by her presence and sorrow, increased the 
sufferings of her Son. ' The grief,' says Saint Bernard, 
' which filled Mary's heart, as a torrent flowed into and 
embittered the heart of Jesus.'^ ' So much so,' says 
the same Saint, ' that Jesus on the cross suffered more 
from compassion for His Mother than from his own 
torments.' He thus speaks in the name of our Blessed 
Lady : ^ I stood with my eyes fixed on Him, and His 
on me, and He grieved more for me than for Himself.'^ 

^ Pnetereontef autem blafphemabanteam, moTantei oaiAta 

1^ Si Filing Dei es, dMcende de oraoe. — lb. 40. 

1' Alios salvos fecit, seipsom non potest salyitiii &oere.— Jft. 43. 

1* Si Rex Israel est, descendat nono de oraoe.— i6. 43. 

»» Rev. Ub. iv. cap. 70. 

*<* Dens mens, Deus mens, at qoid dereliqaisti met— Jfott. zxrU. 4& 

«» Rev. Ub. iv. cap. TO. 

** Repleta Matre, ad Filiam redandaret Inandatlo amaritadlnli. 

" Stabam et ego videos earn : et ipse vidmif me, pint dolebttt !• am « 
«• ■§.-> ^ Lament, B, T, U, 

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And then, speaking of Mary bedde her Afiag Son, hi$ 
says, ^ that she lir^ dying without l>eing able to die.' 
'Near the cross of Ghnst His Mother stood half-dead; 
she spoke not } dying she lived, and living ahe died ; 
aor coold she die, for death was her very fife.'** Pas* 
sine writes that Jesns Ohiist Bin^elf one day, speak* 
Ing to blessed Baptista Varani of Gamerino, assured 
her that when on the cross, so great waa His affliction 
at seeing His Mother at Bis feet in sndi bitter anguish, ~ 
that compassion for her caused Him to die without con- 
solation ; so much soy that the blessed Baptista^ being 
snpematurally enlightened as to the greatness of this 
Buff(Ming of Jesus, exclaimed, ' O Lord, tell me no more 
of this Thy sorrow, for I can no hmger bear it.'^ 

'All,' says Simon of Gassia, 'who then saw this 
Mother silent, and not uttering a complaint in the 
midst of such great suffering, were fiUed with astoni^ 
ment.'* But if Mary's lips were silent, her heart was 
not SO) for she incessantly offi^ed the life of her Son to 
the Divine Justice for our salvation. Therefore, we 
know that by the merits of her dolours she cooperated 
in our birth to the life of grace ,- and hence we are the 
children of her sorrows. ' Ghnst,' says Lanspergius, 
' was pleased that she, the coDperatress in our redemp- 
tion, and whom He had determined to give us for our 
Mother, should be there present ; for it was at the foot 
of the <»t)ss that she was to bring ua, her children, forth.'^ 
Cf any consolation entered that sea of bitterness, the 
heart of Mary, the only one was this, that she knew 
that by her sorrows she was leading us to eternal sal* 
vatioD, as Jesns Himself revealed to Saint Bridget : 
' My Mother Mary, on account of her compassion and 
We, was made tiie Mother of all in heaven and on 

** Jozte on»em Ohzistt itatMt emortoa mat«r . . . Tozillinon orat . . 
qnaii mortoa ri rent yirebat iBorienB, moriebatar TiTens, neo moii pottral 
Hvm Tiyens mortua erat— Jb. ** Boll. 31 Mail, Vit. r«T. } 2. 

** 8tap«tamt ouidm qui norenuit hi\)iia bominit matram, quod etfaai la 
tantflB anffOstiflB pressora sllentium servabat t 

^ Volmt earn Ohristui ooefMratrieem no0tn» vedemptioiiU adctara^ ^hub 
mtMM ooMtitaeiat dare matremi debebat MiiiB SpM tub oraoa ata pa m i 

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«arih.'* And inJeed these were the last words with 
which JoBos bid aer farewell befdre His death : this 
was His lost recoaxmendation, leaving us to her for her 
children in the pt^rson of Saint John : '^ Woman, be- 
hold thy son."*" From that time Mary began to per- 
form this good aOkise of a mother for ns ^ for oaint Peter 
Damian attests, ^ trtat by the prayers of Mary, who stood 
between the cross v f the good thief and that of her Son, 
the thief was oon\erted and saved, and thereby she re- 
paid a former servcce.'*^ For, as other authors also re- 
late, this thief ha<v been kind to Jesus and Mary on 
their journey to Eg fpt ; and this same office the Blessed 
Virgin has ever oodtinued, and still continues, to per 


A younff man iu Perugia promised the devil, that 
if he would enable mm to attain a sinful object he had 
in view, he would give him his soul 5 and he gave him 
a written contract to this effect, signed in his own blood. 
When the crime had been committed, the devil de- 
manded the perfbrmanoe of the promise ; and for this 
purpose led him to the brink of a well, at the same 
time threatening, that if he did not throw himself in, he 
would drag him, body and soul, to hell. The wretched 
youth, thinking that it would be impossible to escape 
from his hands, got on the little parapet to cast himself 
in ; but terrified at the idea of death, he told the devil 
that he had not courage to take the leap, but that if he 
was determined on his death, he must push him in. 
The young man wore a scapular of the Dolours of Mart/; 
the devil merefore said, ' Take off that scapular, and then 
I will push thee in.' But the youth, discovering in the 
scapular the protection still vouchsafed to him by the Di- 

^ Maria, mater mea, propter oompassionem et cbantateiUf i 
imadxtm in mbUi «I in terra. — Retf. 1. riii. o. 12. 

* Holier, ecoe Alius tuus. — Joan. xix. 26. 

* Idoiroo resipuit bonus latro, qoia B. Vir^ inter craoes Filil et latvoolt 
piriti, Filiam pro latrone deprecabator, boc benefloio antiqaom kUionli 
•bttqainm reoompmsant.— wlp. SHwira Com, 1. 8, o. 14, ^ iL 

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vine Mother, refused to do so, and at lengtb, after knuch 
altercation, the devil, filled with confusion, departed ; and 
the sinner^ grateful to his sorrowful Mother, went to 
thank her, and, penitent for his sins, presented asa votive 
offering to her altar, in the church of Santa Maria la 
Nuova in Perugia, a picture of what had takefi place.* 


Ah, Mother, the most sorrowful of all mothers, thy 
Son is, then, dead ; that Son so amiable, and who loved 
thee so mnch ! Weep, then, for thou hast reason to 
weep. Who can ever console thee T The thought alone 
that Jesus by His death conquered hell, opened heaven 
until then closed to men, and gained so many souls, can 
console thee. From that throne of the cross He will 
reign in so many hearts, which, conquered by his love, 
will serve Him with love. Disdain not, in the mean 
time, my Mother, to keep me near thee, to weep with 
thee, since I have so much reason to weep for the crimes 
by which I have offended Him. Ah, Mother of Mercy, 
I hope, first, through the death of my Redeemer, and 
then through thy sorrows, to obtain pardon and eter- 
nal salvation. Amen. 


The Piercing qfthe Side ofJesicSy and His descent 
from the Cross. 

" O, all ye that pass by the way, attend, and see if 
there be any sorrow like to my sorrow."^ Devout souls, 
listen to what the sorrowful Mary says this day : ' My 
beloved children, I do not wish you to console me ; no, 
for my soul is no longer susceptible of consolation in 

*i Sioiscalchi, Marar. di M. oons. 16. 

> O Tot omnes qui transitif per riatn, att«ndit«, 9i yldett fi Ml doior riOA 
dolor mexm. — l%rtn, i. IS. 

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f nBEctbra ttiA smt on nam. 447 

tliis world after tlie death of my dear Jesus. If yon 
wish to please me, this is what I ask of you ; behold 
me, and see if there ever has been in the world a grief 
like mine, in seeing Him who was all my love torn from 
me with such cruelty.' But, my sovereign Lady, since 
thou wilt not be consoled, and hast so great a thirst for 
sufferings, I must tell thee that, even with the death of 
thy Son, thy sorrows have not ended. On this day 
'thou wilt be wounded by another sword of sprrow, a 
cruel lance will pierce the side of thy Son already dead 
and thou hast to receive Him in thine arms after He iB 
taken down from the cross. And now we are to con- 
sider the Sixth Dolour which afflicted this poor Mother, 
Attend and weep. Hitherto the dolours of Mary tor 
tured her one by one ; on this day they are all, as it 
were, united to assail her. 

It is enough to tell a mother that her son is dead, 
to excite all her love towards her lost child. Some 
persons, that they may lessen a mother's giief, remind 
her of the displeasm-e at one time caused by her de- 
parted child. But I, my Queen, did I thus wish to 
lighten thy grief for the death of Jesus, for what dis- 
pleasure that He ever caused thee could I remind thee? 
No, indeed. He always loved thee, always obeyed thee, 
and always respected thee. Now thou hast lost Him, 
who can ever tell thy grief? Do thou explain it, thou 
who hast experienced it. A devout author says, that 
when our beloved Redeemer was dead, the first care of 
the great Mother was to accompany in spirit the most 
holy soul of her Son, and present it to the eternal Fa- 
ther. ' I present 'fhee, O my God,' Mary must then 
have said, 'the Immaculate soul of Thine and my Son ; 
He has now obeyed Thee unto death ; do Thou, then, 
received it in Thine arms. Thy justice is now satisfied, 
Thy will is accomplished ; behold, the great sacrifice to 
Thy eternal glory is consummated.' Then, turning to- 
wards the Lfeless members of her Jesus, ' O wounds,' 
she said, ' wounds of love, I adore you, and in you 
do I rejoice ; for by your means salvation is given ttf 

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the world. You will remain o^en in tlio bcdy of mv 
Son, and be the refuge of those who have recourse to 
yon. 0, how many, through yon, will receive the par- 
don of their sins, and by yon be inflamed with love for 
the sapretne good !^ 

That the joy of the following Paschal ISabbath 
might not be disturbed, the Jews desired that the body 
wf Jesus should be taken down from the cross j but as 
this could not be done unless the criminals were dead, 
men came with iron bars to break our Lord^s legs, 
as they had abeady done those of the two thieves who 
were crucified with Him. Mary was still weeping 
over the death of her Son, when she saw these armed 
men advancing towards her Jesus. At this sight 
i^e first trembled with fear, and then exclaimed: ^Ah, 
my Son is already dead j cease to outrage Him ; tor- 
ment me no more, who am His poor Mother.' She 
implored them, writes Saint Bonaventure, ' not to break 
His legs.'^ But while she thus spoke, God ! she saw 
a soldier brandish a lance, and pierce the side of Jesus : 
" One of the soldiers with a spear opened His side, and 
immediately there came out blood and water .''^ At the 
stroke of the spear the cross shook, and as it was after- 
wards revealed to Saint Bridget, the heart of Jesus was 
divided in two.* There came out blood and water j for 
only those few drops of blood remained, and even those 
our Saviour was pleased to shed, that we might under- 
stand that He had no more blood to give us. The in- 
jury of that stroke was inflicted on Jesus, but Mary 
suffered its pain. ' Christ,' says the devout Lanspergius, 
* shared this wound with His Mother ; He received the 
insult, His Mother endured its agony .'^ The holy fa- 
thers m^tain that this was liter^ly the sword foretold 

' Hano misericordiam meonm tacite^ ne ipsnm confVingatis, nt laltem ia- 
tegmm yaleam tradere seputune. Nod expedit, ut ejus crura fran^irantar : 
vldAtis enhn qaod Jam mortnas est et migravit — De Vit. Chr, cap. Lzxx. 

'Unas militum lancea latiu ejoB aperuit, et oontinao exivit laDgais «l 
•qna. --Joan. ziz. 34. 

^ Ita at ambflB partes esient in lancea. — Reo. lib. li. o. 21. 

* Ipse qaidem yulnns in oorpore, sed beata Maria rolnerif dolorta aoof 
!• »wiW.— /» i\Mt. Dam horn. Ixv 

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io the Blessed Virgin by Swnt Simeon: a sword, not a 
material one, but one of grief, whicb transpierced hex 
blessed soul in the heart of Jesus, where it always dwelt. 
Thus, amongst others, Saint Bernard says : "The lanoe 
which opened His side passed through the soul of the 
Blessed Virgin, which could never leave her Son's heart.** 
The divine Mother herself revealed the same thing to 
Saint Bridget : ^ When the speai was drawn out, the 
point appeared red with blood : then, seeing the heart 
of my most dear Son pierced, it seemed to me as if 
my own heart was also pierced.'^ An angel told the 
same Saint, ' that such were the sufferings of Mary, that 
it was only by a miraculous interposition on the part of 
God, that she did not die.'^ In her other dolours she 
at least had her Son to compassionate her ] but no\y she 
has not even Him to pity her. 

The afllicted Mother, fearing that other injuries 
might still be inflicted on hei* Son, entreated Joseph of 
Arimathea to obtain the body of her Jesus from Pilate, 
that at least in death she might guard and protect it 
from further outrage. Joseph went, and represented to 
Pilate the grief and desires of this afflicted Mother. 
Saint Anselm* believes that compassion for the Mother 
softened the heart of Pilate, and moved him to grant 
her the body of the Saviour. Jesus then was taken 
down from the cross. O most sacred Virgin, after thou 
hast given thy Son to the world, with so great love, for 
our salvfltion, behold the world now restores Him to 
thee J but, O God, in what state dost thou receive Him T 
O world, said Mary, how dost thou return Him to me T 
*' My Son was white and ruddy f^^ but thou returnest 
Him to me blackened with bruises, and red — ^yes ! but 
with the wound which thou hast inflicted upon Him. 

* Lanoea qas ipstog aperait latus, animam Virginia i>enetravit, qiu» iiid« 
aeqiMbat aY«lli.— /» Sign, Magm. 

• ^Gum extraheretur haste, appaniit ouspis rabea saniqnilae. Tano mihl 
Tidebatar, qaod quasi oor meam perforaretor, oum vidissem oor FiUI aiel 
cariisimi perforatum. — Reo. lib. L cap. 10. 

* Non parrum miraouluas in hoo Deus tunc feoisse dignosoitar, oum VIrg« 
Hater tot et tantis doloribus intrinseotui sauciata suum spirltum non •mint 

Serm. Ang. o. 18. * Dial, de Pass. o. 16. 

'* I>tlMtiif mew oandiduf ct mbieundns. — Card. t. l(k 

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He was all fair and boautif al ; but now there is no mote 
beauty in Him j He ia all disfigured. His aspect en- 
amoured all : now He excites horror in all who behold 
Him. . * O, how many swords/ says Saint Bona venture, 
' pierced the poor Mother's souF^^ when she received the 
body of her Son from the cross ! Let us only consider 
the anguish it would cause any mother to receive into 
her arms the body of her lifeless son. It was revealed 
to Saint Bridget,^ that three ladders were placed against 
the cross to take down the Sacred Body j the holy dit 
ciples first drew out the nails from the hands and feet, 
and, according to Metaphrastes,^^ gave them to Mary. 
Then one supported the upper part of the body of Jesus, 
and the other the lower, and thus descended it from the 
cross. Bernardine de Bustis describes the afflicted 
Mother as standing, and extending her arms to meet her 
dear Son j she embraced Him, and then sat at the foot 
of the cross. His mouth was open, His eyes were dim ; 
she then examined his mangled flesh and uncovered 
bones ; she took off the crown, and saw the sad injuries 
which the thorns had inflicted on that sacred head ; she 
saw the holes in His hands and feet, and thus addressed 
Him : * Ah, Son, to what has Thy love for men brought 
Thee ; and what evil hadst Thou done them, that they 
should thus cruelly have tormented Thee T Thou wast 
my father' (continues Bernardine de Bustis, in Mary's 
name), ' Thou wast my brother, my spouse, my delight, 
my glory ; Thou wast my all.'^* My Son, see my af- 
fliction, look at me, console me ; but no. Thou no longer 
lookest at me. Speak, say but a word, and console me ; 
but Thou speakest no more, for Thou art dead. Then, 
turning to those barbarous instruments of torture, she 
fiaid^ cruel thorns, O cruel nails, merciless spear, 
howy how could you thus torture your Creator T But 
why do 1 speak of thorns or nails f Alas ! sinners, she 

^ Ap. Sar. 15 Aug. 

M O Je«a, tn mihi Pater, ta mihi Spoaiuf, ta mihi FUint, ta mthl oattit 
•rail' MaridL pu z. Serm. 1. 

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exclaimed, it is you who have thus craelly treated my 

Thus did Mary speak and complain of us. But what 
would she now say, were she still susceptible of suiffer- 
ing T What would be her grief to see that men, notwith- 
standing that her Son has died for them, still continue 
to torment and crucify Him by their sins I Let us, at 
least, cease to torment this afflicted Mother ; and if we 
have hitherto grieved her by our sins, let us now do all 
that she desires. She says, " Return, ye transgressors, to 
the heart.''^' Sinners, return to the wounded heart of 
my Jesus 5 return as penitents, and He will welcome 
you. 'Flee from Him to Him,' she continues to say 
with the Abbot Guarric ; ' from the Judge to the Re- 
deemer, from the tribunal to the cross.'^^ Our Blessed 
Lady herself revealed to St. Bridget,^''' that * she closed 
the eyes of her Son, when He was taken down from the 
cross, but she could not close His arms ; ' Jesus Christ 
giving us thereby to understand that He desired to re- 
main with His arms extended to receive all penitent 
sinners who return to Him. * world,' continues Mary, 
"behold, then, thy time is the time of lovers.''^^ ^ Now 
that my Son has died to save thee, it is no longer for 
thee a time of fear, but one of love — a time to love 
Him, who to show thee the love He bore thee was 
pleased to suffer so much.' ' The heart of Jesus,' says 
St. Bernard, ' was wounded that, through the visible 
wound, the invisible wound of love might be seen.'^^ 
* If, then,' concludes Mary, in the words of Blessed Ray- 
mond Jordano, ' my Son by excess of love was pleased 
that His side should be opened, that He might give 
thee His heart, it is right, man, that thou in return 
ghouldst also give Him thine.'^ And if you desire, 
children of Mary, to find a place in the heart of Jesus, 

*• Bedite, pnevarioatores, ad cor. — Is. xlvi. 8. 

^* Ab ipso fiige ad ipBum, a Judioe ad redemptorem, a tribunal! ad onioem 
— /n Dam. Palm. §. 4. " Rev. 1. 4, 0. 70. 

'^ Et ecoe tempos taum, tempua amantium. — JBtech. xvi. 8. 

*» Vnlneratam est cor Chriati, ut per yubaut visibile, yolnus amoria invi- 
tStitte yideamns. — Lib. de Pasi. 0. 3. 

** Px» ninoio amore aperait sibi latoi, nt pnaberet oor laam. t 

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without fe«* >f being rejected, '^o/ says TTbertino da 
Casale, ^ go with Mary j for she will obtain the grace fiw 
you.'^ Of this you have a proof in the following beau 
tiful example. 


The disciple relat^,^ that l^ere was a poor sinner 
who, among other crimes which he had committed, had 
killed his father and a brother, and therefore was a 
fugitive. One day in Lent, hearing a sermon on the 
Divine mercy, he went to confess his dns to the preacher 
him self . The confessor, on hearing the enormous crimes 
which he had committed, sent him to an altar of Mary 
in Sorrow, that she might obtain him contrition, and 
the pardon of his sins. The sinner obeyed, and began 
to pray ; when, behold, he suddenly dropped down dead 
from excess of grief. On the following day, when the 
priest recommended the deceased to the prayers of the 
people, a white dove appeared in the church, and let a 
card drop at his feet. The priest took it up, and foand 
the following words written upon it : ' The soul of the 
deceased, on leaving his body, went straight to heaven. 
Continue thou to preach the infinite mercy of God.' 


afflicted Virgin ! O soul great in virtue but great 
also in sorrow, for the one and the other took their rise 
in that immense love with which thy heart wasinfiamed 
towards Grod, for thou couldst love Him alone ; ah, 
Mother, pity me, for instead of loving God I have greatly 
offended Him. Thy sorrows encourage me to hope fof 
pardon. But this is not enough ; I wish to love my 
Lord ; and who can better obtain me this love than thou, 
who art the Mother of fair love T Ah, Mary, then oom- 
fortest all ; console me also. Amen. 

*^ Fili hajns matris, kigredere cam ip«a Intn penetralift oordto 9i 
Arb. ru. 1. 4, c. 24. 
» Promt f X Litt M. 21. 

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THS BintXU. 07 ^B8178. 408 


The Bwridl qf Jesus. 

When a mother is by the mde of her saffeniliff and 
dying cMldy she undoubtedly feels and sofiiMrs fdl hit 
MinB ; but after he is aotnally dead, when, befcure the 
body is carried to the grave, the afflicted moth^ mast 
bid her child a last farewell; then, indeed, the thongfat 
that she is to see him no more is a grief which esceeds 
idl o<dier griefs. Behold the last sword of Mary's sor- 
row, wMcm we have now to consider ; for aft^ witness- 
ing the death of her Son on the cross, and embracing 
for a last time His lifeless body, this blessed Mother 
had to leave Him in the sepnldbire, never more to eo^j 
His beloved presence on earth. 

That we may better miderstand this last dolour, we 
will retom to Calvary and consider the afflicted Mother, 
who still holds the lifeless bodyof her Son clasped in 
ha* arms. O my Son, she seaned to say in the words 
of Job, my Son, " Thou art changed to be (aruel towards 
me.''^ Yes, for all Thy noble qualities. Thy beauty, 
grace, and virtues, Thy engaging manners, all the marks 
of special love which Thon hast bestowed upon me, the 
pecnliar favoms Thou hast granted me, — all M:e now 
changed into grief, and as so many arrows pierce my 
heart, and the more they have excited me to love Thee, 
BO much the more cruelly do they now make me feel 
Thy loss. Ah, my own beloved Son, in losing Thee I 
have lost all. Thus does St. Bernard ^)ei£ in her 
name : ' O truly-begotten of God, Thou wast to me a 
father, a eon, a spouse : Thou wast my very soul ! Now 
I am deprived of my father, widowed of my spouse, a 
desolate, childless Mother j having lost my only Sxm^ I 
have lost all.'* 

' Matatos m mihi in onidelem. — Job, zzz. 2L 

* O Tere Dei Nate, tn mihi Pat«r, ta mihi Fflioi, ta mlU 8poiiBa% U 
mihi anima eras. Nano orbor Patre, Tiduor SpooM^ deaoler Filtok Mmv 
p«4>.— ^jiNiMi. ^. M. r. 

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Thus waa Maiy, with her Son locked in ner arms^ 
absorbed in grief. The holy disciples, fearful that the 
poor Mother might die of grief, approached her to take 
the body of her Son from her arms to bear it away for 
burial. This they did with gentle and respectable vio- 
lence, and having embalmed it, they wrapped it in a 
lineb cloth which was already prepared. On this cloth, 
which is still preserved at Turin, our Lord was pleased 
to leave to the world an impression of His sacred body. 
Tlie disciples then bore Him to the tomb. To do this, 
they first of all raised the sacred body on their shoul- 
ders, and then the mournful train set forth ; choirs of 
angels from heaven accompanied it ; the holy women 
followed, and with them the afflicted Mother also fol- 
lowed her Son to the place of burial. When they had 
reached the appointed place, ' O how willingly would 
Mary have there buried herself alive with her Son, had 
such been His will !' for this she herself revealed to 
St. Bridget.^ But such not being the Divine will, there 
are many authors wht> say that she accompanied the 
sacred body of Jesus into the sepulchre, where, accord- 
ing to Baronius,* the disciples also deposited the nails 
and the crown of thorns. In raising the stone to close 
up the entrance, the holy disciples of the Saviour had, to 
approach our Blessed Lady, and say : Now, Lady, we 
most dose the sepulchre : forgive us, look once more at 
thy Son, and bid Him a last farewell. Then my be- 
loved Son (for thus must the afflicted Mother have 
spoken) ; then I shall see Thee no more ? Receive, 
therefore, on this last occasion that I behold Thee, re- 
ceive my last farewell, the farewell of thy dear Mother, 
and receive also my heart, which I leave buried with 
Thee. ' The Blessed Virgin,' writes St. Fulgentius, 
* would ardently have desired to have buried her soul 
with the body of Christ.'* And this Mary herself re- 

* O qnam libenter tano podta ftiissem viya cam FUio meo, A i 

mlM ejus l—Bto. lib. i. cap. 10. 

« Anno Chr. 34, n. 131. 

■ ▲nimam com oorpore Chrltti ooatamalari Virgo TahanMaiar asapterlU 

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<realed to St. Bridget, saying : 'I can truly say that at 
the burial of my Son one fcomb contained as it were 
two hearts.'® 

Finally, the disciples raised the stone and closed up 
the holy sepulchre, and in it the body of Jesus, that 
great treasure — a treasure so great that neither earth 
nor heaven had a greater. Here I may be permitted 
to make a short digression, and remark that Mary's 
beart was buried with Jesus, because Jesus was all her 
treasure; "Where your treasure is, there will your heart 
be also."^ And where, may we ask, are our hearts 
buried T In creatures — ^perchance in mire. And why 
not in Jesus, who, although He has ascended to heaven, 
is still pleased to remain on earth, not dead indeed, but 
living in the most holy sacrament of the altar, precisely 
that our hearts may be with Him, and that He may 
possess them T But let us return to Mary. Before 
leaving the sepulchre, according to St. Bonaventure, 
she blessed the sacred stone which closed it, saying, 
' happy stone, that doth now enclose that sacred 
body, which for nine months was contained in my 
womb J I bless thee and envy thee ; I leave thee the 
guardian of my Son, of that Son who is all my treasure 
and all my love.' Then, raising her heart to the Eternal 
Father, she said, ' Father, to thee do I recommend 
Him — ^Him who is thy Son at the same time that He 
is mine.' Thus bidding her last farewell to her beloved 
Jesus and to the sepulchre, she left it, and returned to 
her own house. 'This Mother,' says St. Bernard, 'went 
away so afflicted and sad, that she moved many to tears 
in spite of themselves ; and wherever she passed, all 
who met her wept,'^ and could not restrain their tears. 
And he adds that the holy disciples and women who 
accompanied her 'mourned even more for her than for 
their Lord.'^ 

* Vere dicer* poasnm, qnod sepnlto Filio meo, qoari duo oorda in ano m« 
pnlchro faerant.- Rev. lib. ii. cap. 21. 

' Ubi enim thesaurus vester est, ibi et oor vestrnm erit — Lite, idi. 34. 
' Sai ploratua pietate, inultos etiam invitos ad lacrymas proYOOabat . . • 
Omnes plorabant qui obviabant ei.^De Lament. B. M, V. 

* ^ia^t Ulis inexat dolor de dolore lUtris,qaam d« mortoDoniiilfaL-^lL 

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Saint Bonaventure says, that lier sisters oovefej 
her with a mourning cloak : 'The sisters of our Lady- 
veiled her as a widow, almost covering her whole face.'^* 
He also says that, passing, on her return, before the 
cross still wet with the blood of her Jesus, she was the 
first to adore it. ' holy cross,' she then said, 'I kiss 
thee, I adore thee; for thou art no longer an infamous 
gibbet, but a throne of love and an altar of mercy, con- 
secrated by the blood of the Divine Lamb , which on 
thee has been sacrificed for the salvation of the world.' 
She then left the cross, and returned home. When 
there, the afflicted Mother cast her eyes around, and 
no longer saw her Jesus ; but, instead of the sweet pre- 
sence of her dear Son, the remembrance of His beautiful 
life and cruel death presented itself before her eyes. 
She remembered how she had pressed that son to her 
bosom in the mb of Bethlehem ; the conversation she 
had held with Him during the many years they had 
dwelt in the house of Nazareth ; she remembered their 
mutual aflfection, their loving looks, the words of eternal 
life which fell from those Divine lips ; and then the 
sad scene which she had that day witnessed again pre- 
sented itself before her. The nails, the thorns, the 
lacerated flesh of her Son, those deep wounds, those 
uncovered bones, that open mouth, those dimmed eyes, 
all presented themselves before her. Ah, what a.night 
of sorrow was that night for Mary ! The afflicted Mo- 
ther, turning to Saint John, mournfully said: 'Ah 
John, tell me where is thy Master V She then asked 
the Magdalen : ' Daughter, tell me, where is thy be- 
loved T O Grod, who has taken Him from us V Mary 
wept, and all who were present wept with her. And 
thou, my soul, weepest not ! Ah, turn to Maiy, and 
address her with Saint Bonaventure, saying : ' my 
own sweet Lady, let me weep ; thou art innocent, I am 
guilty .'^^ Entreat her at least to let thee weep with 

** Sorores Dominn velayerant earn tanquam Yidaam, oooperUntof qiUMi 
totam yaltum. — De Vita C. cap. IxxxiiL 

^^ Sine. Domina mea, siiie me flere ; ta innooeni «•, ego wmwwi. M HW k 
JHff^ Am, p. L «. 9. 

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tfiS BUItlAt OF JiSStTS. 45t 

tier : ' Grant that with thee I may weep.'^ She weepp 
for love; do thon weep through sorrow for thy sias. 
Thus weeping, thou mayest have the happy lot of him 
of whom we read in the following example. 


Father Engelgrave relates" that a certain religous 
was so tormented with scruples, that he was sometimes 
almost driven to despair ; but as be had the greatest 
devotion to Mary in Sorrow, he always had recourse to 
her in his interior agonies, and felt himself consoled 
whilst meditating on her dolours. Death came, and 
the devil then tormented him more than ever with 
scruples, and tempted him to despair. When, behold, 
the compassionate Mother seeing her poor son in such 
anguish, appeared to him, saying : ' And thou, my son, 
why art thou so overcome with sorrow T why fearest 
thou so much ? thou who hast so often consoleil me by 
pitying me in my sorrows. But now,' she added, 
' Jesus sends me to console thee ; be comforted, then ; 
rejoice, and come with me to heaven.* On hearing these 
consoling words, the devout religious, filled with joy 
and confidence, tranquilly expired. 


My afflicted Mother, I will not leave thee alone to 
weep ; no, I will accompany thee with my tears. This 
grace I now ask of thee : obtain that I may always bear 
in mind and always have a tender devotion towards 
the Passion of Jesus and thy sorrows, that the re- 
mainder of my days may thus be spent in weeping over 
thy suflferings, my own sweet Mother, and those of my 
Redeemer. These sorrows, I trust, will give me the 
confidence and strength which I shall require at the 
hour of death, that I may not despair at the sight of 
the many sins by which I have offended my Lord. 

i>FMiilt6oamlaffaam. » Dom. iofr. 0«i. N«i Lnz Bf» 


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45d 8X7EKTH BOLOint. 

They must obtain me pardon, pefrseverance, and heaveii^ 
where I hope to rejoice with thee, and to sing the infi- 
nite mercies of my God for all eternity. Thus do I 
hope ; thus may it be. Amen. Amen. 

Should any of my readert toish to practise the devotion ofreeiUnff 
the little Rosary of the Dolours of Maryy they vnlljind it <U 
the end of the Third Part of this book, I composed it many 
years since, and now insert it for the convenience ofaU devout 
clients of Mary in Sorrow; to whom I ]>eg that, 04 an act of 
charity, they wiU recommend me when they meditate on her 


Lady, who by thy sweetness dost ravish the hearts 
of men, hast thou not ravished mine T ravishf r of 
hearts, when wilt thou restore me mine T Rule and 
govern it like thine own ; preserve it in the Blood of 
the Lamb, and place it in thy Son's side. Then shall 
I obtain what I desire, and possess what I hope for ; for 
thou art our hope.^ 

' O Domina, qnjB rapis corda daloedine ; nonne oor menm, Domina, ra* 
paisti . . . O raptrix cordium, quando mihi restitnei oor meam t . . . Gn- 
tMrna illud onm tuo, et in sanguine agni oonserva, et in latere Filii oollooa. 
Toao aaieqaar qaod intendo, tunc possidebo qaod ip«ro, quia tn «• wpm 
moitnu—S, Bmm, Msd, in £M9, Beg. a^. 8. Ban, Stim, Awtar, P. iii.oif. 19. 

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Saint Augustine says,^ that to obtain with more cer- 
taanty, and in greater abundance the favour of the Saints, 
we must imitate them ^ for when they see us praotiflo 
their virtues, they are more excited to pray for us. The 
Queen of Saints and our principal Advocate, Mary, hai 
no sooner delivered a soul from Lucifer's grasp, and 
united it to God, than she desires that it should begin 
to imitate her, otherwise she cannot enrich it with the 
graces she would wish, seeing it so opposed to her in 
conduct. Therefore Mary calls those blessed wh ) with 
diligence imitate her life : " Now, therefore, children, 
hear me ; blessed are they that keep my ways.''* Who- 
soever loves, resembles the person loved, or endeavours 
to become lie that person; according to the well-known 
proverb, ' Love either finds or makes its like.*^ Hence 
Saint Sophronius exhorts us to endeavour to imitate 
Mary, if we love her, because this is the greatest act 
of homage which we can offer her : ' My beloved chil- 
dren,' the Saint says, ' serve Mary, whom you love ; for 
you then truly love her, if you endeavour to imitate her 
whom you love.'* Richard of Saint Lawrence sayi 
* that those are and can call themselves true children 
of Maiy, who strive to imitate her life.'^ ' Let the ohUd, 

1 S. 225, ed. B. app. 

' Nnno ergo, filii, audito n>e : beati qui onttodiiint y\a» m«as.— IVo*. vUk 

' Amor aut parei inTenU ant fiMsit. 

* DilectiMimaB, amate qnam oolitii, et oolite qTiam amatU : quia tone tas 
▼ere oolitii et amatis, li imitari Teliti* de toto corde qaam laadatla.— «SSm% 
di jMiun^. ifU, €p, S, Eiwcn, . * Sea note % p^pe 4flL 

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460 THB VntTVflS OF MABT. 

then/ concludes S^nt Bernard, ' endeayonr to imitate Ida 
Mother, if he desires her favoor ; for Mary, seeing her- 
self treated us a Mother, will treat him as her child.'' 
Although there is little recorded in the Gospels' of 
Mary's virtues in detail, yet when we learn from them 
tlu^ ska wa^ full of grace, this alone g^ves us to imder- 
stand that she possessed all virtues m an heroic d»* 
gree. ' So much so,' says Sa^nt Thomas, ' that whereas 
other Saints excelled, each in some particular virtue, 
the one in chastity, another in humility, another in 
mercy ; the Blessed Virgin excelled in all, and is ffiven 
as a model of all.'^ Saint Ambrose also says, 'Mary 
wa0 such, that her life alone was a modd for all.'* 
Ai^ then he concludes in the following words : ' Let 
the vurginity and life of Mary be to you as a faithfril 
image, in which the form of virtue is i^plendent. 
Thence learn how to live, what to correct, what to 
avoid, and what to retain.® Humility being the foun- 
dation of all virtues, as the*'holy fathi^rs teach, let us 
m the first place consider how great was the humili^ 
of tbd Mother of God. 

SbctiokL Of ihe HumUUy qf Xar^ 

'Humility,' s^ys Saint Bernard, 'is the foimdatioii 
and gnardi^oi <^ virtues ;'^ and with reason, for without 
it no other virtue can exist in a souL Should she pos- 
sess aU vktues, all will depart when humility is gone. 
Bot, on the other hand, as Saint Francis of Sales wrot^ 

•l^SflreBeff. 1. 1. 

' Ipsa enim omDitua TirtakHD open ezcmoit; alii anttnt motA ipnl^Wii 
ypjndf e qaiaaliiiBlMtliiuaUia,aUnfoaititt alioimiMrioora, etid«od»niar 
in ezemplom ipeoialiam Tirtatam ; sed beata Yitgo in ezempliiQi omniaa 
Tiitatom.— (>ptuc. viii. 

* Talis ftiit Maria, ut ejoi nniof rifa omniom lit dii^pli^t.— J>t V i f $imi 
km, y^. ii. a a 

' Sit igitor Yobis tamqnam in imagine desoripta, rirginitaf, Tita ICari^b 
4e qoa yelnt ipeoalo refiilffeat ipeoiea oastitatia at fiMcma Tirtatia» Qlno 
'*! lioat ezampla ^T«adi . . . q«id oooigar^ <|Bid«l^]gei% quIAImera